Oregon’s Payroll Employment Gains 5,700 in April
Oregon’s payroll employment grew by 5,700 in April, following a revised gain of 3,800 in March. The April gain was close to the average pace seen over the past 12 months. Oregon’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent in April, the same as it was in March, and down significantly from 5.7 percent in April 2015.
In April, several major industries added jobs at a brisk pace. Professional and business services hired the most, adding 2,400. Next in line was government, which added 1,500. Three other industries added close to 1,000: health care and social assistance (+1,100 jobs); construction (+1,000); and other services (+1,000).
Manufacturing dropped by 1,300 jobs in April. Most of those losses were in durable goods manufacturing; however, Oregon’s semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing industry added jobs in April.
A record 64,100 nonfarm payroll jobs were added in Oregon over the past 12 months, for an annual growth rate of 3.6 percent. The next closest over-the-year gain–since at least 1990–occurred in May 1997 when 61,500 jobs were added.
Since April 2015, job growth has been rapid in construction (+7,900 jobs, or 9.6%), and in several industries that grew by more than 5 percent: professional and business services (+13,000 jobs or 5.8%); other services (+3,400 jobs or 5.7%); and health care and social assistance (+11,200 jobs or 5.1%). Furthermore, growth was widespread among other industries, with most adding more than 3 percent. No industry declined significantly since April 2015, although manufacturing did cut 100 jobs.
Oregon’s labor force participation rate rose to 62.6 percent in April, from 62.3 percent in March, and up from 60.8 percent in April 2015. The labor force participation rate is the share of the population 16 years and older that is employed or unemployed. It has been trending upward since last year.