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Job growth jumps

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted job gain of 6,100 in April followed an even stronger gain of 8,900 in March. This two-month increase of 15,000 was the largest such growth since December 2005, when 15,100 jobs were added over the last two months of that year.

The rapid growth over the past two months reflects an accelerating pace of economic expansion. Oregon is adding jobs at a faster pace than the nation, growing 2.6 percent over the year compared with the U.S. growth rate of 1.7 percent. Oregon is still behind the United States in returning to pre-recession employment levels because Oregon lost a larger share of jobs during the recession and Oregon’s job growth rate was slower earlier in the recovery.

Since April 2013, the private sector has added 41,100 jobs, or 3.0 percent. During that time, seven of the 12 major private-sector industries have grown at close to 2.5 percent. However, a couple of industries have stood out with more robust gains over the past 12 months. Construction added 8,000 jobs, which is a 10.9 percent gain. Meanwhile, professional and business services added 8,500 jobs, or 4.1 percent.

Most of the construction sector has grown at more than 10 percent over the past 12 months. Painters, drywallers and flooring contractors are included in the industry growing the fastest — building finishing contractors — which added 1,900 jobs, or 20.2 percent.

Job gains for the month of April were widespread, with most of the service-providing industries each adding between 500 and 1,600 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Payroll additions were largest in these industries: professional and business services (+1,600 jobs), health care and social assistance (+1,400) and leisure and hospitality (+1,100).

These are preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to later revision.

Overall, Oregon’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in April, the same in March. Even though there was no change over the month, Oregon’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly — by a full percentage point — since April 2013 when the rate was 7.9 percent.



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