Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Oregon’s Labor Market Largely Unchanged in May

Oregon’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent in May, the same rate as in the prior two months. This kept the state’s rate close to the national level, as the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in May and 5.0 percent in April.

Payroll employment gained only 1,200 jobs in May, following gains averaging 5,300 per month over the prior 12 months. In May, most industries closely followed their normal seasonal patterns, with only a few major industries deviating substantially from their typical trend. Retail trade added 800 jobs and financial activities added 800. Meanwhile, other services cut 600 jobs while manufacturing cut 400.

Despite the modest May job gains, Oregon added 61,300 nonfarm payroll jobs over the year, equaling a growth rate of 3.5 percent. Since May 2015, construction grew at the fastest rate of the major industries, adding 8,100 jobs or 9.9 percent.

Manufacturing was the only major industry to decline since May 2015, as it cut 1,300 jobs, equaling a loss of 0.7 percent. May was the fourth consecutive month of declines in manufacturing. Several component industries within manufacturing cut jobs over the year including sawmills (-300 jobs), primary metals (-500), transportation equipment (-300), and paper manufacturing (-200).

For information, read this month's Employment Situation.

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