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Oregon Unemployment Rate Down
Oregon’s unemployment rate stayed at 7.0 percent in January, compared with 7.1 percent in December. According to the Oregon Employment Department, the rate was substantially down from its January 2013 level of 8.3 percent. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been trending down over the past four and a half years.
The number of Oregonians who were unemployed in January was down by 30,526 over the year as more people found jobs. The number unemployed in January was 148,830, down from 179,356 in January 2013.
In January, employment gains were modest. Nonfarm employment grew by 1,000. Construction and leisure and hospitality were the only major industries that added more than 1,000 jobs, while government was the only major industry to cut more than 1,000. These payroll employment figures are estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Construction is enjoying a stronger winter season than during any of the past four years. Employment rose to 77,000, which was well above the 68,700 recorded in January 2010. As demand for residential housing construction has improved, the construction industry is approaching employment levels seen during the early 2000s.
Leisure and hospitality is booming. It is up 7,800 jobs, or 4.5 percent in the past 12 months.
Professional and business services added 8,900 jobs, or 4.3 percent, on a seasonally adjusted basis over the past 12 months. This industry is seeing strong demand for employees in computer systems design, management of companies, employment services, and services to buildings and dwellings. Each of these component industries has added 1,400 jobs or more since January 2013.