Oregon Employment Dept.
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News Releases
Oregon's Unemployment Rate Reaches Record Low 4.0 Percent in February - 03/21/17

Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in February, from 4.3 percent in January. This was the lowest unemployment rate since comparable records began in 1976. Oregon's 4.0 percent unemployment rate was significantly lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.7 percent in February.

In February, the number of unemployed Oregonians dropped to about 82,000, which was the lowest number since August 1995 when about 82,000 were unemployed. By contrast, the labor force has grown from just under 1.7 million in 1995 to over 2.0 million today.

In February, nonfarm payroll employment surged ahead by 8,200 following a revised gain of 700 in January. Government grew the most of the major sectors, as it added 4,400 jobs, rebounding from a loss of 3,400 jobs in January. Similarly, health care and social assistance shot up by 2,400 jobs in February following a loss of 1,700 the prior month. Manufacturing added 1,300 after a loss of 200 in January. Construction continued to grow rapidly by adding 900 jobs in February, following a strong gain of 2,500 in January. Only one major industry cut more than 600 jobs in February as transportation, warehousing and utilities shed 1,400.

Over the past 12 months, payroll employment added 39,900 jobs, or 2.2 percent, which was a slight deceleration from the growth rate near or above 3 percent throughout much of the past four years. Oregon is still growing faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent.

Since February 2016, Oregon's growth was very fast in construction, which added 8,900 jobs, or 10.0 percent. Other industries that grew rapidly were health care and social assistance (+8,700 jobs, or 3.8%); financial activities (+3,600 jobs, or 3.8%); and information (+1,100 jobs, or 3.3%). Meanwhile only three industries cut jobs over the year: manufacturing (-400 jobs, or -0.2%); mining and logging (-200 jobs, or -2.6%); and wholesale trade (-200 jobs, or -0.3%).

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 28th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Tuesday, April 18th.

The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.

The pdf version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at www.QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit www.QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.

Equal Opportunity program -- auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

Employment Department Announces Enhancements to Work Share Program - 03/09/17

Program Offers Employers Positive Alternative to Layoffs

SALEM, OREGON - A grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S.DOL) recently funded enhancements to Oregon's Work Share program, which offers employers an alternative to layoffs if their business experiences a downturn. With this program, instead of letting skilled employees go, employers can reduce workweeks of three or more team members, and subsidize their lost wages with part-time unemployment insurance benefits from the Oregon Employment Department.

The U.S.DOL grant enabled the Employment Department to streamline the program, making it simpler for businesses to use. "We understand that government programs are often seen as cumbersome," said Salena De La Cruz, Work Share Project Manager. "We've reduced the paperwork and made the program very accessible. The enhanced program provides a really good option for businesses to consider when facing market fluctuations."

More than 8,400 jobs have been saved by the Work Share program since it began in 1983. Many different types of businesses use the program and experience a variety of benefits through their participation, such as the retention of skilled employees, preservation of quality and efficiency, and an ability to go back to full-time operations as soon as the market allows.

Oregon Aero Inc., a sixty-five person company based in Scappoose, Oregon used the Work Share program when they had a temporary slow-down in work orders. Lisa Maxim, Human Resources Director said of the program, "It's so easy to use, you check off a couple boxes on a one-page form and send it to the (Employment) Department. The lack of red tape is reassuring for everyone."

Since its inception, the Work Share program has helped more than 1,700 different employers avoid layoffs in Oregon. Companies interested in the program can contact a program specialist at 503-947-1800, toll free 1-800-436-6191 or by emailing OED_WorkShare@Oregon.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Employment in Oregon January 2017 - 02/28/17

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Reached a Record Low of 4.3 Percent in January

Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in January, from 4.5 percent in December. This was the lowest unemployment rate since comparable records began in 1976. Revised figures show Oregon's unemployment rate has been on a declining trend over the past seven years. Outside of the past 12 months, the only other time, over the past forty years, that Oregon's rate reached below 5 percent was between November 1994 and September 1995 when the rate dropped as low as 4.7 percent. In January, the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.8 percent.

In January, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2,600, which was less than the average of 3,500 jobs added per month over the past six months. Monthly growth was strongest in construction, which added 2,100 jobs, and retail trade, which added 1,200. Monthly losses were largest in health care and social assistance (-1,100 jobs) and government (-1,100).

Newly revised payroll employment figures show a slowdown in the overall rate of job gains in recent months, following quite rapid gains during the prior few years. Over the past 12 months, payroll employment added 43,200 jobs, or 2.4 percent. Growth was very fast in construction, which added 10,000 jobs, or 11.5 percent. In that time several major industries grew rapidly, by close to 4 percent: transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+2,600 jobs, or 4.4%); financial activities (+3,700 jobs, or 3.9%); information (+1,200 jobs, or 3.6%); and health care and social assistance (+8,000 jobs, or 3.5%). Meanwhile only two industries cut jobs in that time: manufacturing (-1,400 jobs, or -0.7%) and mining and logging (-200 jobs, or -2.6%).

Newly revised figures show less job growth in October through December. Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 9,500, which was only two-thirds the growth that was originally estimated. The industries revised downward the most for that period were wholesale trade; government; and manufacturing. However, some industries were revised higher for December, including retail trade and information.

Starting with today's news release, employment at Oregon's public universities will be counted in local government education instead of in state government education. The change is due to legislative action that reorganized state universities into universities with governing boards in 2014 and 2015. This includes Eastern Oregon University, Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, University of Oregon, and Western Oregon University. The change does not affect total government employment levels. See the text box below for additional information.


Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the January county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 7th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for February on Tuesday, March 21st.


Notes:
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.

The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources. This press release incorporates, for the first time, the annual revisions to the data for 2016 and prior years.

Prior to July 2014, public universities in the state of Oregon were under state government ownership. Beginning with data for July 2014, the Current Employment Statistics program classifies Oregon State University, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon in local government ownership. Beginning with data for July 2015, CES classifies the other four universities (Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Southern Oregon University, and Western Oregon University) in local government ownership.

This change in ownership resulted from the passage in 2011 and 2013 of state legislation which created a new legal entity called "universities with governing boards." Public universities in Oregon were reorganized in 2014 and 2015 under this new legal entity. This new political subdivision will be classified under local government ownership.

Oregon Senate Bills (SB) 242 and 270 enacted this change. SB 242, passed in 2011, created a means for public universities to establish governing boards. SB 270, passed in 2013, designated Oregon's public universities as universities with governing boards.



The pdf version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at www.QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit www.QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.

Equal Opportunity program -- auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

Attached Media Files: Employment in Oregon January 2017