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Oregon Statewide Unemployment Rate October 2012
Oregon's Statewide Unemployment Rate Virtually Unchanged in October

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Was 8.6 percent in October, as Payroll Employment Dropped by 2,400

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 8.6 percent, essentially unchanged from 8.7 percent in September. The October 2011 unemployment rate was 9.3 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 2,400 jobs in October. The BLS estimates the private sector declined by 1,200 jobs over the month and the public sector also declined by 1,200. Revised estimates for September show a loss of only 800 jobs, when a loss of 7,900 was initially reported. Upward revisions were greatest in local government education and private education.

Over the past year, the BLS estimates from October 2011 to October 2012 show a seasonally adjusted job gain of 15,300, or 0.9 percent, for Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment. During that time the private sector added an estimated 17,500 jobs (+1.3%), while government lost 2,200 jobs ( 0.8%).

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the construction industry cut 900 jobs in October. This was 500 above the typical seasonal loss of 1,400 jobs for October. For the past 12 months, construction has shown a choppy pattern, with no apparent expansionary trend. Since October 2011, the industry is down 500 jobs, or 0.7 percent.

Economists with the BLS estimate that private-sector educational and health services added 2,700 jobs in October, which was well below the normal seasonal gain of 3,800 jobs for the month. Private-sector educational services added 1,900 jobs as the school year was back in full force. This industry employed 36,600 in October, which was close to the 36,900 it employed in October 2011.

The BLS estimates that government employment rose by 17,700 in October. This gain was less than the normal seasonal increase of 18,900 for the month. Local government K-12 schools and community colleges were near peak staffing levels of the year, and the employment numbers reflected the return of staffing levels, with local government education adding 13,200 jobs.

This was estimated by BLS to be 200 above its year-ago figure. Federal government cut 500 jobs in October.

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

Hours and Earnings
(Establishment Survey Data)
The average workweek for Oregon manufacturing production workers rose from 40.7 in September to 40.8 in October. The manufacturing workweek has been on a generally increasing trend for more than three years. In October 2011, this workweek averaged 40.6 hours.
The autumn months typically see higher average hourly earnings figures than in the summer as fewer seasonal, lower-paid workers are employed. In October, the average wage was $22.21 per hour for Oregon’s private-sector payroll employees. Wages have increased 30 cents, or 1.4 percent, from October 2011 when the average was $21.91. In September 2012, the figure was $22.25.

(Household Survey Data)
The national unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in October and 7.8 percent in September, while Oregon’s rate was 8.6 percent in October and 8.7 percent in September.

During the first 10 months of this year, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 8.4 percent and 8.9 percent.

In October, 159,439 Oregonians were unemployed. This was 15,652 fewer individuals than in October 2011 when 175,091 Oregonians were unemployed.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the October county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Monday, November 19th and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for November on Tuesday, December 18th.

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