Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in December 2015, from 5.7 percent in November 2015. This decrease moves Oregon’s rate closer to the national level, as the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent in November and December. A year ago, in December 2014, Oregon’s unemployment rate was significantly higher, at 6.7 percent.
Oregon’s payroll employment rose by 2,300 in December, following an upwardly revised gain of 10,900 jobs in November. In December, manufacturing added 1,100 jobs, while government added 800. All of the other major industries performed close to their normal seasonal hiring pattern.
“Oregon’s economy finished the year strong, adding 17,100 jobs in the last three months of 2015,” said Nick Beleiciks, Oregon’s state employment economist. “Job growth continues to be widespread, with most major sectors adding more jobs than they usually do this time of year.” Looking back over the most recent 12 months, Oregon’s economy grew rapidly, adding 54,600 jobs in 2015.
Oregon’s 3.1 percent growth rate in nonfarm payroll employment was faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.9 percent. Oregon’s health care and social assistance grew the most during 2015, adding 10,100 jobs, or 4.6 percent. Two other major industries also expanded very rapidly with both growing at close to 4 percent:
information (+1,300 jobs, or 4.0%) and professional and business services (+8,800 jobs, or 3.9%).
Next in line were five major industries that each grew by between 3.0 percent and 3.5 percent. These included other services, construction, retail trade, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality.
Five other major industries grew at least 2 percent. Mining and logging (-200 jobs, or -2.6%) was the only industry to lose jobs.
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the December county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, January 26th, and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for January on Tuesday, March 1st.