Oregon’s State Employment Department reports that Lincoln County’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.4% from May to June, just a sixth-tens of one percent improvement from a year ago at this time. Lincoln County’s employment pattern in the summer is quite different than Benton County or Linn County. Total nonfarm employment in Lincoln County grows during the summer largely due to seasonal hiring for increased tourism at the coast during the summer months.
Benton County (including Corvallis) saw unemployment rise slightly in June, reflecting temporarily higher numbers due to OSU and schools laying off for the summer. Still with a 6% unemployment rate Benton County has a lot better job market than the rest of the state.
Tillamook County to the north saw it’s jobless rate rise in June to 8.7%, a tenth of a percent higher than May.
Lane County to our south saw the same sort of slight uptick in joblessness, a .1% increase to 8.5%.
Polk county to our east saw a little higher bump up in unemployment, rising .2% for a June rate of 8.2%.
Oregon’s overall unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.5%, much improved since June of last year when 9.6% of Oregon’s workforce were trying to find a job.
The summer season has come to the Mid-Willamette Valley. The unusually soggy and cold spring provided a real challenge for the region’s farmers this year. Agriculture is one sector in the region that adds seasonal employment in the summer months.
Total nonfarm employment in Region 4 normally has an employment decrease during the summer months. Benton County has large employment declines due to summer break for Oregon State University. Local government education in all three counties also has a seasonal decline during the summer months.
While Oregon’s overall unemployment rate remained the same January through February, it improved ever-so-slightly in Lincoln County. Lincoln County picked up 120 new jobs in February to lower the county’s jobless rate from 9.1% in January down to an even 9% in February.
Around the region, Corvallis retained its crown as being the most employed county in the state, holding steady at 5.9% unemployment. Salem improved a little by falling from 9.3% to 9.1% in February. Same with Coos County falling from 10.6% to 10.5%. Tillamook continued stuck at 7.8% January to February, although many wouldn’t mind being stuck with such a low jobless rate. Portland fell from 8.3% down to 8.1%, which puts the Rose City actually below the national average.
Statewide job trends show a mixed bag, category to category. Mining and logging stayed steady in February but remains 1.5% above February of 2011. Construction fell 2.8% in February but remained .4% above what it was in February of 2011. Manufacturing statewide in February was unchanged, but remained 1% below what it was in February of 2011. Retails sales were off .8% in February, but still .6% higher than February of 2011. Financial activities were down .4% in February and down .8% from February of last year. Education was off .8% in February but remained 6.7% above where it was in February last year. Health care employment was down .1% in February, but is 1.6% higher than last year at this time. Hospitality in terms of lodging and meals showed a .6% employment improvement in February and fully 2.5% higher than in February of last year.
As for government employment, federal employment ranks were unchanged in February, but are down 3.8% from February of last year. State employment was up .5% in February but overall was unchanged from February of last year. And among the ranks of local government employees, they were down .1% in February and were down 2.7% from February last year.
Oregon’s statewide jobless rate for January fell .2% from December, coming in at 8.8 %. The U.S. national rate declined to 8.3% in January. The full run down is in this report from Oregon’s Office of Employment.
Courtesy Oregon Employment Department
Oregon’s Payroll Employment Outperformed Expectations in January and the Unemployment Rate Fell to 8.8 Percent
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in January and 9.0 percent in December. Meanwhile, the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent in December.
Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment gained 5,400 in January, following a revised loss of 300 in December. January job gains were led by manufacturing (+1,700 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (+1,300); educational and health services (+1,200); and financial activities (+1,100). None of the major industries saw losses of more than 500 jobs.
Manufacturing cut only 700 jobs at a time of year when a loss of 2,400 is the typical seasonal pattern. Most of the durable goods industries posted little over-the-month employment changes. Although they saw relatively steady hiring activity to start the year, several of these industries have grown substantially since January 2011. Fabricated metal product manufacturing reached a recent low point of 13,300 jobs in January 2010. Since then, it has ramped up its employment level to reach 14,900 by January of this year. Despite this gain, the industry is well below its peak of the prior two decades, when it averaged 18,000 jobs in 1998.
Similarly, machinery manufacturing has been growing its headcount over the past 24 months. It reached a low of 9,300 two years ago and employed 11,000 this January. Meanwhile, computer and electronic product manufacturing employed close to 35,000 throughout most of 2009 and 2010. During early 2011, employment grew modestly and stood at 36,500 in January 2012.
Transportation equipment manufacturing bottomed at close to 10,000 in all of 2009 and 2010. Since then, it has added workers at a steady clip, and employed 11,200 by January.
Trade, transportation, and utilities dropped its employment by 10,800 in January following the buildup leading into the holidays. This job loss was less than the 12,100-job decline predicted by normal seasonal factors for the first month of the year. Retail trade cut 8,100 in January as many of the temporary holiday workers were let go. Despite the job loss, retail was up 3,100 compared with its January 2011 figure. Food and beverage stores gained 600 jobs over the year to lead all published retail components in such gains. Nonstore retailers cut 700 jobs since January 2011, the weakest performance of the published retail component industries.
Educational and health services cut only 3,300 jobs for January, which was fewer than the decline of 4,500 expected due to seasonal factors. This private-sector major industry continues to grow on a seasonally adjusted basis at a rapid and consistent pace. Private-sector educational services normally cuts jobs in January, and this year the loss was 2,400. But this was close to normal and the industry is up by 1,900 since January 2011. Each of the health care industries added between 1,000 and 1,400 jobs in the 12 months through January, while social assistance was up by 300 in that time.
Financial activities cut 900 jobs when a loss of more than double that amount was expected due to the time of year. This is good news for the industry, as it continued to see modest job losses throughout most of 2011. Employment in the industry, at 90,900 in January, was still 400 below its year-ago level.
Although Oregon saw a lot of new jobs created over the last year, there weren’t enough of them to counter act the loss of public sector jobs among police, fire, teachers and other government workers. It means that there hasn’t been much change in Oregon’s performance at job creation. The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.
While the U.S. tries to figure out how to make its labor force more competitive in the emerging new world economy, something immediately needs to happen to not lose a major portion of the labor force we currently have. And, according to some experts, there is grave danger that might happen. On this labor day some are calling for M*A*S*H type tactics to stop the demise of a significant portion of the country’s current work force.
Some pointers on how to do that is in a guest column in the Oregonian. Click here.
Applications for unemployment aid dropped by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 395,000 according to the U.S. Labor Department. Applications had been above 400,000 for the previous 17 weeks. Here in Oregon, jobless claims fell to the lowest rate since January. More from the Oregonian. Click here.