State unemployment rate hits record low
Oregon's unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent in March, from 4.0 percent in February.
This was the lowest unemployment rate since comparable records began in 1976. Oregon's 3.8 percent unemployment rate was significantly lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in March.
In March, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2,400 following a revised gain of 7,600 in February. Three industries added at least 1,000 jobs: professional and business services (adding 1,700 jobs), government (adding 1,600), and manufacturing (adding 1,000). Only one industry cut at least 1,000, as financial activities shed 1,300 jobs.
Over the past 12 months, payroll employment added 39,500 jobs, or 2.2 percent, which was a 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 1.5 percent.
Since March 2016, Oregon's construction sector grew the fastest, adding 8,200 jobs, or 9.2 percent.
Other industries that grew rapidly were professional and business services (up 8,700 jobs, or 3.7 percent); health care and social assistance (up 7,600 jobs, or 3.3 percent); and information (up 1,000 jobs, or 3.0 percent).
Meanwhile only two industries cut jobs over the year: mining and logging (losing 100 jobs, or 1.3 percent); and wholesale trade (losing 1,000 jobs, or 1.3 percent).
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for April on May 16.