Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Reasons for Unemployment in Oregon

There are four major categories of the unemployed, based on a reason for unemployment:
  • Job losers, who are on temporary or permanent layoff 
  • Job leavers, who voluntarily left a job and immediately began to look for another 
  • Re-entrants, those who worked, left the labor force, and have begun a new job search 
  • New entrants, those who have never worked before and are now seeking employment. 
Job losers made up the largest share of Oregon’s 101,200 unemployed persons in 2016. Those who lost jobs accounted for 47,300 unemployed persons, or 47 percent of the total.

The share of the unemployed who are job leavers typically varies with the state of the economy. During recessions, fewer people voluntarily leave their jobs since fewer opportunities exist elsewhere. When the economy and labor demand are strong, more people are likely to quit their jobs because they are confident something better will come along. In 2013, as the jobs recovery was really just starting, job leavers accounted for 5 percent of the unemployed. In 2016, job leavers accounted for 12 percent of the total.

After making up a relatively small and fairly constant fraction of the total unemployed (4% to 9%), the number of new entrants to Oregon’s labor force increased to 14 percent of all unemployed persons in 2016. That’s not because the number of new entrants increased dramatically; rather, that’s because the number of job losers declined notably as the economy has improved.

Read the full article "Understanding Oregon’s Labor Force" written by Senior Economic Analyst Gail Krumenauer.  

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