Tight labor market, mild weather pushed unemployment rate lower
Oregon's tight labor market added about 6,300 jobs in November as the state unemployment rate slipped a little lower to 3.9%.
State employment officials said it was the lowest unemployment rate in 43 years. October's rate was 4%, and the state added about 6,500 jobs that month.
Oregon's unemployment rate has been hovering near historical lows of near 4 percent for the past 37 months. So far this year, the state has added an average of 2,600 jobs each month. That is slightly slower than in 2018, when it added an average of about 3,000 jobs each month.
State officials said the tight labor market and the unusually mild November weather may have influenced seasonal trends in the major industries. Industries that normally shed a lot of workers in the fall didn't cut back as much.
On the flip side, the tight labor market made it harder for some industries to hire as many workers as normal in November. Government and retail trade both normally add a substantial number of jobs in November. But each hired fewer than normal for the month, officials said.
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