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Oregon Statewide Unemployment Rate September 2012
Oregon Statewide Unemployment Rate September 2012

October 16, 2012
David Cooke, Economist (503) 947-1272

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Was 8.7 percent in September, as Payroll Employment Dropped by 7,900 

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 8.7 percent, essentially unchanged from 8.9 percent in August. The September 2011 unemployment rate was 9.4 percent.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)
On a seasonally adjusted basis, preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate nonfarm payroll employment in Oregon fell by 7,900 jobs in September. The BLS estimates the private sector declined by 5,500 jobs over the month and the public sector declined by 2,400.

Over the past year, the BLS estimates from September 2011 to September 2012 show a seasonally adjusted job gain of 10,100, or 0.6 percent, for Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment. During that time the private sector added an estimated 15,700 jobs (+1.2%), while government lost 5,600 jobs ( 1.9%).

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that construction employment cut 1,400 jobs in September. This was well below the typical seasonal gain of 200 jobs for September. For the past 12 months, construction has shown a choppy pattern, with no apparent expansionary trend. Since September 2011, the industry is down 300 jobs, or 0.4 percent.

Economists with the BLS estimate that professional and business services cut 2,600 jobs in September, which was well below the normal seasonal drop of 200 jobs for the month. Employment services cut 1,800 jobs in September and is down 1,600 over the past 12 months.

The BLS estimates that government employment rose by 4,300 in September. This gain was less than the normal seasonal increase of 6,700 for the month. Most local government K-12 schools were back in session, and the employment numbers reflected the return of staffing levels, with local government education adding 6,600 jobs. This was still estimated by BLS to be below its year-ago levels by 4,200 jobs. Federal government cut 600 jobs in September, while state government dropped by 300.

The BLS estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. These preliminary estimates are subject to revision.

(Household Survey Data)
The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in September and 8.1 percent in August, while Oregon’s rate was 8.7 percent in September and 8.9 percent in August.

During the first nine months of this year, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 8.4 percent and 8.9 percent.

In September, 150,378 Oregonians were unemployed. This was 25,942 fewer individuals than in September 2011 when 176,320 Oregonians were unemployed. It was also the fewest number of unemployed since October 2008, when 139,502 Oregonians were unemployed.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the September county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, October 23rd and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for October on Wednesday, November 14th.

For many years, monthly employment estimates for Oregon and its metropolitan areas were developed by Oregon Employment Department economists.

In March 2011, responsibility for the monthly employment estimates for Oregon and its metropolitan areas shifted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The estimates developed by BLS are more heavily dependent on the sample of businesses and less reliant on knowledge of local economic events. They are also likely to demonstrate increased month-to-month variability.

Comments or questions should be directed to Graham Slater, Administrator of the Oregon Employment Department's Workforce and Economic Research Division, at (503) 947-1212.

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 Loretta Gallegos 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