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News Releases
Press Release: Oregon's Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Changed Little in February - 03/21/23

March 21, 2023 

Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist (971) 301-3771 
Video and Audio available at 10 a.m. 

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Changed Little in February 

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment declined by 100 jobs in February, following a gain of 9,600 jobs in January. Job losses in February were largest in manufacturing (-1,300 jobs) and financial activities (-1,000). Gains were largest in construction (+1,400 jobs), private educational services (+1,000), and government (+700). 

Nondurable goods manufacturing experienced more job cuts than normal in both January and February. The industry employed 57,800 in February, which was close to its February totals of the prior two years. Food manufacturing comprises about half of nondurable goods manufacturing employment and, at 27,800 jobs in February, was close to its February totals of each of the past seven years. Meanwhile, durable goods manufacturing hasn’t gained much ground lately, as it has hovered close to 137,000 jobs during the past eight months. Recent gains in machinery manufacturing have been offset by declines in computer and electronic product manufacturing

Construction employment rose sharply in February, reaching another record high of 122,700. The industry added 7,500 jobs, or 6.5%, over the past 12 months. Since February 2022, all published components of construction are up between 3.8% and 9.3%. The component that grew the fastest was building equipment contractors, which added 3,000 jobs, or 9.3%, in that time. Both components within construction of buildings grew close to 4%, with residential building construction up 800 jobs, or 3.8%, and nonresidential building construction up 500 jobs, or 4.3%. 

Government employment rebounded above to its pre-pandemic high of early 2020, as it rose to 302,100 jobs in February. Local government education rose to 139,100 jobs in February, which was 6,500 jobs above its year-ago figure, and is now nearly back to its February 2020 total of 141,900. Local government, excluding education slowly expanded over the past eight months; it employed 97,700 in February. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in February, little changed from 4.8% in January. Oregon’s unemployment rate averaged 4.8% over the past six months. In February, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, from 3.4% in January. 

Next Press Releases 
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 28, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Wednesday, April 19.


Press Release: Oregon's Unemployment Rate was 4.8% in January - 03/07/23

March 7, 2023

Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist (971) 301-3771 
Video and Audio available at 10 a.m. 
David Cooke, Economist (971) 375-5288

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate was 4.8% in January

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.8% in January, matching Oregon’s revised 4.8% unemployment rates for October, November, and December 2022. The last time Oregon’s unemployment rate was more than 4.8% was in July 2021 when the rate was 5.1%. In January, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.4%, its lowest level in more than 50 years. Annual revisions to the data, released this month, indicate that Oregon’s unemployment rate was higher than originally estimated last year, and payroll employment growth was slightly slower. 

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 9,900 jobs in January, following a gain of 5,600 jobs in December. Monthly job gains in 2022 averaged 5,600. The gains in January were largest in health care and social assistance (+2,200 jobs); professional and business services (+1,800); and leisure and hospitality (+1,400). The only major industry with a job loss in January was private educational services (-600). 

Health care and social assistance expanded its workforce rapidly during July 2022 through January 2023. During that time, it added 4,500 jobs, to reach a total of 271,800 jobs. Prior to that there had been little net job change compared with early 2021. Over the most recent 12 months, social assistance was the component industry that grew the most, adding 5,000 jobs since January 2022. 

Professional and business services continued its rapid expansion of the past more than two years. It added 13,000 jobs, or 5.0%, since January 2022. Job gains in this broad industry—that makes up 14% of Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll jobs—have been relentless and consistent throughout 2021 and 2022. 

Leisure and hospitality rose in January, consistent with its steady expansion and partial recovery from the recession of nearly three years ago. It added 12,500 jobs, or 6.5%, in the 12 months to January. Despite these gains, it is still 10,600 jobs below its pre-recession peak reached in February 2020. 

Private educational services slipped to 34,800 jobs in January, following stability since May 2022. 

Next Press Releases 

The Oregon Employment Department released the January county and metropolitan area unemployment rates today at 10 am, concurrently with the release of the January statewide data. The Department plans to release the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for February on Tuesday, March 21.



All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted, except for the component industries within health care and social assistance. 

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 2022 and prior years.

The PDF version of the news release can be found at QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit QualityInfo.org, select Tools, then choose LAUS or CES under the Economy header. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit unemployment.oregon.gov. 

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spokenlanguage interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov. 

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.