Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oregon's October Employment Situation and Unemployment by Reason

After ticking up slightly over the summer, Oregon's unemployment rate has started to drift downward again in recent months. In October the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.6 percent, slightly below the 8.7 percent rate in September, and the 8.9 percent rate posted in August.

The number of unemployed persons in Oregon totaled 159,400 in October, having declined by 15,700 from one year prior, but 67,900 above the level in October 2007, before the Great Recession. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes -- and the Oregon Employment Department tracks -- statistics on reasons why people in the state are unemployed. These reasons include losing a job (layoff), leaving a job (quitting), and entry into the labor force (not previously seeking work). Most of the precipitous rise in the number of unemployed Oregonians since 2007 has been due to layoffs. After peaking at 142,500 in June 2009, the number of unemployed persons due to job loss declined by 51,500 over the next two years. Since June 2011 that trend has stalled; over the past 15 months, the number of unemployed Oregonians who were laid off has declined by 3,300.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate nonfarm payroll employment in Oregon fell by 2,400 jobs in October. The BLS estimates the private and public sectors each declined by 1,200 jobs over the month. Revised estimates for September show a loss of only 800 jobs; preliminary reports showed a loss of 7,900 jobs. The greatest upward revisions in September employment occurred in local government education and private educational services.

The BLS estimates that Oregon added 15,300 jobs (0.9%) between October 2011 and October 2012. During that time, the private sector added an estimated 17,500 jobs (1.3%), while government lost 2,200 jobs (-0.8%).

More details about Oregon's employment situation in October are available in the full news release.

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