Oregon unemployment at historic low
Oregon's unemployment rate has been at a historical low and stable for more than a year, remaining at 4.1 percent in January and December.
Annual revisions to labor force data show Oregon's unemployment rate between 4.1 percent and 4.2 percent for all 13 months between January 2017 and January 2018. Oregon's unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is the lowest unemployment rate in the comparable historical series which dates back to 1976.
In January, Oregon's nonfarm payroll employment grew by 5,000 jobs, following a revised gain of 9,800 jobs in December. Three major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs: private educational services (up 1,100 jobs), construction (up 1,000), and manufacturing (up 800).
Those gains were partially offset by a loss of 700 jobs in leisure and hospitality. Health care and social assistance added 2,300 jobs above the gain due to a reclassification of home care workers.
Payroll employment grew by 2.7 percent in the most recent 12 months. Between January 2017 and January 2018 Oregon added 50,600 jobs. Recent estimates of payroll employment indicate an acceleration in job growth, led by construction which added 7,500 jobs in that time.
Three other industries posted rapid growth faster than 4 percent: private educational services (up 2,800 jobs, or 7.9 percent), other services (up 3,100 jobs, or 5.0 percent), and leisure and hospitality (up 9,700 jobs, or 4.8 percent).
Meanwhile, two industries cut jobs: information (down 100 jobs, or 0.3 percent) and wholesale trade (down 600 jobs, or -0.8 percent).
In the future, employment of Oregon's approximately 17,000 home care workers will be counted in private health care and social assistance instead of state government. The change is due to legislative action clarifying that for purposes of workforce and labor market information, home care workers are not employees of state government.
The reclassification affects private sector and government monthly change figures for January, and will affect over-the-year change figures through December. It does not affect total payroll employment levels.