Pamplin Media Group – State unemployment rate drops to 4.7% in September

Professional and technical services in Oregon have grown rapidly and are now well above their pre-recession peak

Oregon’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7% in September from 5.0%, as revised, in August. In September, 102,000 Oregonians were unemployed.

Oregon Department of Employment officials said this was a “remarkable improvement” from the worst workforce impacts of the COVID recession when 270,000 Oregonians were unemployed in April 2020. However, they noted that there was still some way to go to approach the average of 82,000 unemployed Oregonians. from 2017 to 2019, during the tight labor market of the previous economic expansion.

The US unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in September from 5.2% in August.

In Oregon, non-farm payroll employment fell by 200 in September, following a revised gain of 8,900 jobs in August. Monthly earnings averaged 10,200 from January to August. Job cuts in September were largest in government (-3,800 jobs) and construction (-1,400). These losses were offset by substantial gains in professional and business services (+2,500 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+2,200); and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+1,000 jobs).

The private sector created 3,600 jobs in September, continuing the steady expansion of the private sector which has averaged 4,600 jobs added per month over the past six months.

Government job losses in September were concentrated in local government where some K-12 schools added fewer staff than is typical at the start of the school year. Other local government employers are still well below their staffing levels seen two years ago, before the recession.

Leisure and hospitality added 2,200 jobs in September, following a gain of 1,200 in August. Despite these gains, recreation and hospitality still account for the bulk of Oregon’s jobs that have not been clawed back since early 2020, with 42,100 jobs to be clawed back to hit the peak in February 2020. The industry has recovered 62% of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic. .

Professional and technical services grew rapidly throughout 2021 and are now well above their pre-recession peak. This industry has added 11,800 jobs since the April 2020 low. Most jobs in the industry at large are found in companies offering services in the fields of law, architecture, engineering, etc. computer systems design, management consulting, research and veterinary medicine.

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