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Oregon July 2014 Statewide Unemployment Rate
Oregon’s Employment Situation Changed Little in July
8/12/2014
Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)
Payroll employment was essentially unchanged in July. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment added 200 jobs, following a revised loss of 3,000 in June. Three major industries expanded substantially in July: manufacturing (+1,600 jobs), health care and social assistance (+1,300) and other services (+1,400). Meanwhile, two major industries contracted substantially: retail trade (-1,400 jobs) and private educational services (-1,300).

Manufacturing has been on a steady expansionary trend over the past four years. Seasonally adjusted employment in the industry bottomed at 162,500 in October 2009. Since then the industry added back 17,900 jobs, reaching a total of 180,400 in July.

Gains within durable goods manufacturing were noteworthy over the past 12 months.

Wood products grew by 1,000 jobs since July 2013, machinery added 800, and transportation equipment added 1,200. Within the nondurable goods component, food manufacturing added 1,000 during that time.

Health care and social assistance accelerated its pace of hiring in recent months. The 1,300 seasonally adjusted job gain in July was more than the average monthly gain of the past 12 months. Since July 2013 the industry added 8,100 jobs, which equaled 3.9 percent growth and was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Oregon. All of its component industries added substantially during that time, with social assistance growing the fastest by adding 2,500 jobs to reach 31,900 in July.

Retail trade contracted for the second consecutive month, following strong gains earlier in the year. This put retail up only 2,000 jobs, or 1.0 percent, since July 2013. Nationally, surveys suggest that overall retail store visits are down since last summer. Some retailers are reporting slower sales growth even as total consumer spending continues to expand. In Oregon, the only published retail industry which grew by more than 1,000 jobs over the year was motor vehicle and parts dealers, which added 1,300 jobs since July 2013.

Unemployment
(Household Survey Data)
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in July and 6.8 percent in June. Oregon’s unemployment rate was between 6.8 and 6.9 percent in each month between February and July. Despite the flat trend in recent months, the rate has fallen from a year ago when Oregon’s unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in July 2013.

Oregon’s labor force expanded over the year, totaling 1,965,255 in July, which was nearly 22,000 more individuals than in July 2013. The growth in the labor force was roughly consistent with the growth in the population, as the seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate, at 61.2 percent in July, changed little over the year.

Hours and Earnings
(Establishment Survey Data)
The average workweek for Oregon manufacturing production workers decreased from 40.7 hours in June to 40.0 in July. This put the manufacturing workweek back to where it was in April and May when it was also 40.0 hours. The manufacturing workweek dropped 0.3 hour since last year. In July 2013, this workweek averaged 40.3 hours.
 
In July, the average wage was $22.80 per hour for Oregon’s private-sector payroll employees, down from $22.82 in June. Wages increased 46 cents, or 2.1 percent, from July 2013 when the average was $22.34.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the July county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Monday, August 18th and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for August on Tuesday, September 16th.

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. This month’s release incorporates the January, February and March 2014 tax records data. 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.

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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