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Oregon March 2014 Statewide Unemployment Rate
Oregon Job Growth Hits Fastest Pace in Eight Years
Oregon Job Growth Hits Fastest Pace in Eight Years

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted monthly job gain of 7,500 in March was the largest since November 2005 when 9,300 jobs were added.

The rapid job growth in recent months may be pulling people back into the labor market. Nearly five years into this economic recovery, rapid gains in construction employment and an end to overall government job declines have lent support to more broad-based economic expansion.

The jobs report indicated economic growth accelerated in March, with many of the major industries adding at least 1,000 jobs.

Construction shot up by 1,800, following a gain of 1,300 in February. Leisure and hospitality bounced back from a one-month dip, adding 2,100 in March. In addition, five industries added close to 1,000 jobs: retail trade (+1,200 jobs), financial activities (+900), professional and business services (+1,200), private educational services (+800), and health care and social assistance (+1,400). The only industry showing a large loss in March was wholesale trade, which shed 1,000 jobs.

Over the past 12 months, Oregon’s economic expansion was rapid and broad-based. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment grew by 46,300 jobs, or 2.8 percent since March 2013 as each major industry added jobs. The private sector added 43,700 jobs, or 3.2 percent, while government added 2,600 jobs, or 0.9 percent. Within the private sector, construction grew at the fastest pace, having added 7,800 jobs or 10.8 percent since March 2013.

In March, seasonally adjusted construction employment broke through 80,000 for the first time since January 2009. After plummeting to near 67,000 in 2010, the industry has once again returned to near 80,000, which was close to its level during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In March, most of construction’s job gains were in building equipment contractors, which added 1,400 and was up 2,600 in the past 12 months. The industry is primarily comprised of contractors specializing in electrical; plumbing; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

These preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses and are subject to later revision.

(Household Survey Data)
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in March, essentially unchanged from 6.8 percent, as revised, in February and significantly below the year-ago figure of 8.0 percent in March 2013.

Oregon’s labor force increased for the fifth consecutive month in March, following nearly two years of monthly declines. Continued job growth, coupled with a high number of entrants to the labor force, has been driving recent labor force growth.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the March county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Monday, April 21st and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for April on Tuesday, May 13th.

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 Eric Villegas 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.

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities