Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Oregon's Record Low Unemployment and Growing Labor Force

This morning the Oregon Employment Department released the May unemployment and jobs numbers for the state. Oregon's 3.6 percent unemployment rate marked another record low since comparable records began in 1976.

That Oregon's unemployment rate has reached a record low while the labor force also continues to grow. For the first time, in May, Oregon’s labor force rose above 2.1 million. The labor force grew by 40,000 in the first five months of this year.
In May, nonfarm payroll employment rose 2,900, following a revised gain of 6,800 in April. The construction sector continued its strong growth with a gain of 1,600 jobs over the month. Manufacturing added 900 jobs.

Nationally, payrolls expanded by 1.6 percent over the past year. Oregon's job growth totaled 40,400 (2.2%). Construction led state industry growth, with gains of 8,200 (9.2%) over the past year. Within construction, the largest growth occurred in specialty trade contractors (e.g., foundation, siding, electrical, and plumbing contractors) and residential building construction.

Find out more about Oregon's May unemployment situation in the full news release, or check out our podcast with labor market highlights from State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks.

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