Oregon's Unemployment Rate Rises
Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in November from 4.1% in October. The unemployment rate increased 0.9 percentage point over the past four months from its recent low of 3.5% in May, June, and July. The last time Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.4% or more was in October 2021 when the rate was 4.4%. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate has remained below 4%, as it was 3.7% in both October and November of 2022. In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 8,500 jobs in November, following a gain of 5,500 jobs in October.
The gains in November were largest in government (+2,900 jobs); health care and social assistance (+1,400); wholesale trade (+1,100); and leisure and hospitality (+1,000). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in November. All major sectors of government grew. Federal government added 900 jobs in November, with several firms adding jobs when they normally would be shedding seasonal jobs heading into the winter slow period. State government added 300 jobs, continuing its slow growth this year.
Local government added 1,700 jobs, but remained 2,400 jobs below November 2019, prior to the pandemic recession. Oregon’s private sector added 5,600 jobs in November, reaching another all-time high of 1,688,400. This was 16,700 jobs, or 1.0%, above the pre-recession peak in February 2020. Health care and social assistance continued its steady and rapid advances this year, adding 1,400 jobs in November, which was close to its average gain of 1,200 jobs per month this year. Social assistance grew the most, adding 5,100 jobs (+7.8%) in the past 12 months.
Ambulatory health care services (+4,500 jobs, or 4.8%) and nursing and residential care facilities (+2,100 jobs, or 4.3%) also have expanded rapidly since November 2021. Leisure and hospitality is still substantially below its pre-pandemic peak. But its revised gain of 2,000 jobs in October, coupled with its gain of 1,000 in November, put the industry back on its recent upward trajectory. Over the past 12 months it added 15,700 jobs, accounting for nearly a quarter of Oregon’s private-sector job gains during that time.