Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Ticks Up, But Remains Historically Low

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon’s unemployment rate ticked up to 4.5 percent in December.

It’s the highest number since September 2021.

However, the Oregon Employment Department says it’s still low by historic standards and job growth remains strong.

In fact, Oregon employers added 6,100 jobs to non-farm payrolls.

Here’s the breakdown from the OED:

The gains in December were largest in manufacturing (+2,400 jobs), construction (+1,300), and professional and business services (+1,100). The largest decline in December was in other services, which cut 500 jobs.

Oregon’s private sector added 5,600 jobs in December, reaching another all-time high of 1,694,200. This was 22,500 jobs, or 1.3%, above the pre-recession peak in February 2020.

Construction continued its rapid expansion in December. The industry added 10,200 jobs in 2022, for an annual growth rate of 9.1%. Gains were widespread throughout the industry, with all published components growing between 5.9% and 14.9% over that 12-month period. Building equipment contractors (+3,700 jobs, or 11.5%) and building finishing contractors (+2,200 jobs, or 14.9%) grew at the fastest rate.

Leisure and hospitality is still substantially below its pre-pandemic peak. But its revised gain of 1,500 jobs in November, coupled with its gain of 600 in December, kept the industry on its recent upward trajectory. Over the past 12 months it added 16,900 jobs, accounting for a quarter of Oregon’s private- sector job gains during that time.

The nation’s unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5 percent in December.

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