Oregon unemployment rate holds steady at 4.3 percent in April
While county numbers and breakdowns were not available at press time Tuesday, the state as a whole added thousands of jobs in the month of April.According to a press release from the Oregon Department of Employment, the state's total non-farm payroll employment increased by 3,300 jobs last month, which followed an increase of 6,500 jobs in March.
Health care, social assistance and leisure and hospitality had the strongest gains in April with 1,000 jobs added. Several other sectors added at least 500 jobs: manufacturing, which rose by 700 jobs; government, which added 600; and construction, which grew by 500. Only one major industry shed a substantial number of jobs: professional and business services decreased by 1,000 jobs.
The overall state economic growth also appears to be ramping up. Since April 2018, total payroll employment rose by 48,200 jobs, good for a 2.5 percent increase. Job gains were relatively weak, according to the release, averaging 2,300 per month, during mid-2017 through mid-2018. More recently, job growth has averaged 5,400 jobs per month since September 2018. The quickest increases over the past year were in transportation, warehousing and utilities, which added 4,900 jobs for an increase of 7.6 percent; and construction, which added 7,000 jobs, for an increase of 6.7 percent.
Six other major industries added between 2.3 and 3.5 percent to their jobs base in the past year.
Job totals for recent months were revised upward substantially, indicating more rapid hiring in Oregon in late 2018 and early this year. Total non-farm employment was revised upward by approximately 10,000 jobs for each month of December 2018 through March 2019. Upward revisions were most pronounced in professional and business services by 2,600 jobs; construction by 1,800; transportation, warehousing and utilities by 1,800; retail trade by 1,600 and finance and insurance by 1,500.
Oregon's unemployment rate was essentially the same at 4.3 percent in April. It was 4.4 percent in March. Oregon's unemployment rate has held steady between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for the past 30 months since November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent in April from 3.8 percent in March.