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Oregon Statewide Unemployment Rate August 2013
Oregon's Unemployment Rate 8 Percent in August
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.0 percent in July, essentially unchanged from the revised rate of 7.8 percent in June.

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 rose by 900 in July, following a revised gain of 600 in June, marking the 10th consecutive month of job gains. In July the private sector expanded by 4,400 jobs while government shed 3,500. Private-sector gains were led by leisure and hospitality (+2,300 jobs), professional and business services (+1,900), and trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,500). Construction did not follow suit, as it contracted in July (-1,100 jobs).
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that leisure and hospitality hiring has accelerated. Job gains for the 12 months ending in March totaled 5,700, which is 3.4 percent growth. Since then, over the most recent four months, the BLS estimates have skyrocketed upward by an additional 6,300 jobs.

Within the broader industry, the large component industry of accommodation and food services has been responsible for nearly all of the job gains. On a seasonally adjusted basis, it added 6,100 jobs between March and July. At 158,400 jobs, it is now 6,900 above its pre-recession peak reached in early 2008.

Professional and business services added 3,600 jobs in July, when a gain of 1,700 would be expected due to seasonal factors. This better-than-expected gain put the industry 7,000 jobs above its July 2012 figure. Legal services added 500 jobs in July, to employ 12,700, and is up 800 since July 2012. Management of companies and enterprises added 700 jobs in July, and is up 1,600 over the year. It employed 32,400 in July, which was up considerably from the approximately 29,000 it employed during 2009 and 2010, and the 25,000 it employed during much of the early 2000s. In July, employment services added workers at a rapid pace, boosting its headcount by 1,900 for the month. 

Professional and business services has expanded rapidly and fairly consistently, on a seasonally adjusted basis, since late 2009. Since July 2012, it has grown by 3.6 percent, which is the second fastest growth rate of the major industries. Leisure and hospitality was by far the fastest hiring industry, with an annual rate of 6.1 percent.

Trade, transportation, and utilities added 2,700 jobs in July, when a gain of 1,200 is the normal seasonal movement for the month. Wholesale trade shot up by 1,700 jobs, accounting for more than half of the gains in the broader industry. The industry had been expanding slowly over the course of 2010 through early 2013, but remains more than 2,000 jobs below its peak employment of more than 80,000 during much of 2006 through 2008.

Meanwhile, economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that transportation, warehousing and utilities spiked downward during June and July, erasing gains made earlier in the year. At 53,500 jobs in July, the industry has now regained only 2,300 jobs from its post-recession trough of early-2010, and is below levels seen during 1999 through 2008.

So far this year, retail trade has boosted hiring at a slightly faster pace. Seasonally adjusted employment was up by 500 in July and is up by 4,800 jobs or 2.6 percent over the past 12 months. In June, clothing stores added 900, while general merchandise stores added 400.

Construction employment continues to show a slow pace of recovery over the past three years. At 70,900 in July, seasonally adjusted employment remained barely above 70,000 for the seventh consecutive month. This relatively low headcount in recent months is in contrast with the approximately 105,000 construction workers employed during the peak of Oregon’s housing boom in 2007. The current construction employment is only 3,700 above the low point reached during the middle of 2010.

(Household Survey Data)
The national unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in July and 7.6 percent in June. Oregon’s rate was 8.0 percent in July, essentially unchanged from 7.8 percent, as revised, in June.

In July, 158,645 Oregonians were unemployed. This was 17,652 fewer individuals than in July 2012 when 176,297 Oregonians were unemployed.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the July county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Monday, August 19th and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for August on Tuesday, September 17th.

The Oregon Employment Department published a new data series with the release of April nonfarm payroll employment estimates. This official Oregon series is revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer tax records. All department publications, such as news releases, monthly Oregon Labor Trends and local labor trends, will use the new data series unless noted otherwise.

The department will continue to make the original nonfarm payroll employment data series available. These data are produced by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and are revised annually.
Analysts at the Oregon Employment Department will use employer tax records as soon as they become available each quarter to adjust the official Oregon series. This revision resets the monthly estimates to the correct level and should reduce the drift that can occur with estimates that are revised annually. On August 13th, the first quarter 2013 tax records data was used to update the official Oregon series. At this time, data were revised back to April 2012 to incorporate the new first-quarter data as well as annual industry code changes.

Both the official Oregon series and the official BLS series are available on the department’s website, QualityInfo.org.

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