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Unemployment Rate Hangs Around Record Low

Salem, Ore. – The latest employment numbers from the state show that Oregon’s job market is not just recovering from the pandemic, but thriving. Oregon’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in April, down from 3.8% in March. This is the lowest level in more than two years. The rate is also close to Oregon’s all time record low of 3.4% which happened right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“In April we saw Oregon’s strong labor market continue. We had another solid month of job gains,” said State Employment Economist, Gail Krumenauer. “We’ve added back 9-out-of-ten jobs that were lost during the pandemic recession and the  unemployment rate is near its record low again.”

Oregon employers added 4,200 jobs in April. The industry with the biggest gains was in health care and social assistance, adding about  1,800 jobs. Manufacturing and professional and business services were close behind. Both adding more than 1,300 jobs in their fields. The only major industry to cut at least 1,000 jobs is what the department calls “other services,” which includes things like maintenance and repair shops, and hair salons.

Krumenauer adds, Oregon’s unemployment rate “is really close to the U.S. rate of 3.6%.”

This has been a consistent trend as for the past 21 months, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been within a half percentage point of the rate of the rest of the country. That said,  Oregon has slightly lagged the U.S. in jobs recovery overall. The U.S. has added back 95% of jobs lost during the pandemic, while Oregon has only recovered 88% of the jobs.

The Oregon Employment Department publishes employment estimates by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. The next report will be published June 15th.

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