Friday, March 8, 2013

Employment Growth for the U.S. and Oregon's Regions

Two releases out today bring positive jobs numbers. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the unemployment rate and employment figures for the U.S. in February. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the nation's unemployment rate hit a four-year low of 7.7 percent, and employers added 236,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls.

In February, the largest job gains occurred in professional and business services (+73,000), construction (+48,000), and health care (+32,000). The BLS also noted a gain of 20,000 jobs in the information sector, driven by large gains in the motion picture and sound recording industry. Another bit of positive news: average hourly earnings for private-sector employees rose by 4 cents to $23.82, a gain of 2.1 percent from the previous year.

The Oregon Employment Department also released the latest county-level unemployment rates and employment figures today. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in each of Oregon's six broad regions between January 2012 and January 2013. The largest job gains were reported in Central Oregon (+2.1%), and Portland (1.5%). Smaller employment gains occurred along the Oregon Coast (+1.1%), in Southern Oregon (+0.7%), the Willamette Valley (+0.6%), and Eastern Oregon (+0.1%).

More employment news is available for the U.S. in the full release from the BLS. Additional regional employment information for Oregon can be found at by using the Regional Map in the top-right corner of the home page.

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