Oregon Unemployment Rates Fell to 4.4 Percent in October

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Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in October from 4.7 percent in September, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

October was the fifth straight month in which there have been significant declines in the unemployment rate. While more people found work in October, Oregon’s labor force growth has leveled off in the past few of months after growing quite a bit between July 2020 and May 2021.

Oregon employers added 4,700 jobs to nonfarm payrolls in October. The private sector added 10,300 jobs, and those gains were widespread. Oregon’s hotels, restaurants, bars, and entertainment places added 3,100 jobs in October, the most of any sector. Professional and business services added 2,900 jobs over the month. There were also big gains in construction (1,500), manufacturing (1,400), and wholesale trade (1,100).

Government lost 5,600 jobs in October. Nearly all the government job losses occurred in local government. Public K-12 and public higher education make up about half of all jobs in local government in Oregon. As the school year got underway, schools were not hiring near as much as expected this time of year. That resulted in a seasonally adjusted decline of 5,400 jobs. Oregon is not unique in this experience; nationally, public K-12 and higher education fell 65,000 jobs short of typical hiring levels in October.

Leisure and hospitality has added more than 43,000 jobs in 2021. Yet the sector remains 30,000 jobs below its pre-recession employment level, and it represents the biggest gap in a full jobs recovery in the state.

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