Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in February, its first time below 7.0 percent in more than five years. The last time the state’s rate was lower was in August 2008 when the rate was 6.7 percent.
Oregon’s unemployment rate has been steadily trending down for more than four years as the economy has recovered from the Great Recession. Recent declines were coupled with moderate employment growth as indicated by the more than 2,000 jobs added in both January and February.
In February, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2,900 following a revised gain of 2,100 in January. February marked the 8th consecutive monthly gain. The private sector has expanded even longer; the last private-sector job loss was 20 months ago.
Manufacturing added 1,000 jobs in February when a loss of 100 is the normal seasonal pattern. The components with the largest gains were food manufacturing (+400 jobs), computer and electronic product manufacturing (+200), and transportation equipment manufacturing (+200).
Food manufacturing continued its steady expansion of the past eight years, hitting a new February record of 25,300 jobs. Gains in recent years have accelerated in most component industries with particularly rapid expansions in these three: tortilla, confectionery, and seasoning and dressing.
The BLS estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses.These preliminary estimates are subject to later revision.
Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Monday, March 24th and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Tuesday, April 15th.
The Oregon Employment Department is responsible for releasing Oregon’s monthly payroll employment and labor force data. The data are prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The BLS estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other inputs.
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. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS and are revised annually.
For the complete version of the news release, including tables and graphs, visit: www.QualityInfo.org/pressrelease.
If you need this release in the Spanish language, please contact Starlin Moran at 503-947-1794.
For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.
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