May 28, 2017

Oregon unemployment rate reaches record low

From Oregon Employment Dept.
Submitted graphic

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Reaches Record Low 3.7 Percent in April

Oregon's unemployment rate edged down to 3.7 percent in April from 3.8 percent in March, reaching a new record low since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in April. Oregon's rate was significantly below its year-ago rate of 5.0 percent in April 2016.

In April, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,600 following a revised gain of 1,300 in March. Gains were widespread among the industries, with eight of the 14 major industries each adding close to 1,000 jobs. Meanwhile only three industries cut jobs, and those losses were modest: government (-700 jobs), wholesale trade (-500), and information (-300).

Over the past 12 months, Oregon's total nonfarm payroll employment rose 39,100, or 2.1 percent, which was a deceleration from the growth rate near or above 3 percent throughout much of the past four years. Despite the deceleration, Oregon is still growing faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent.

Since April 2016, Oregon's construction sector grew the fastest of the major industries, adding 6,400 jobs, or 7.2 percent. Within construction, specialty trade contractors and construction of buildings grew quickly. Transportation, warehousing and utilities (+3,600 jobs, or 6.0%) also expanded rapidly, due to growth in transportation and warehousing. Professional and business services (+8,700 jobs, or 3.7%) was the third-fastest growing major industry category. It was led by strong job gains in employment services. Health care and social assistance (+6,800 jobs, or 3.0%) rounded out the list of fastest growing industries, as each of its four component industries added jobs at a rapid clip.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the April county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, May 23rd, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for May on Tuesday, June 13th.

All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.

The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.

The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month's release incorporates the October, November and December 2016 tax records data. In addition, data for July through September 2016 were revised upward by a total of 600 to 1,300 jobs per month. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.

The pdf version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to:

Equal Opportunity program -- auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

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