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Oregon Unemployment Climbs, Job Creation Slows in December

After a slow and steady decline in unemployment and increased job creation over the past few years, Oregon is beginning to see a plateau in its job market.

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 11:16 AM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 11:20 AM

SALEM, Ore. — After a steadily dropping unemployment rate and bumper job creation that began nearly a decade ago following peak recession, Oregon's job market appears to have reached a plateau — if not the beginning of an active decline — according to numbers from the Oregon Employment Department (OED).

The state unemployment rate hit an all-time low of 3.8 percent in August and September, but rose back up to 4.1 percent by December. However, the trend of plateau over a precipitously declining unemployment rate really began around the advent of 2017, when state unemployment rates first reached the realm of 4.1 percent.

According to OED numbers, job creation also slowed by December of 2018. The state gained a net 300 jobs through the month, after a similar number in November.

"These two months of nearly flat employment trends followed four months of fairly rapid job gains that averaged 3,700 per month during July through October," the agency said.

While the state has continued to add jobs in leisure and hospitality (1,600 jobs), health care and social assistance (1,000 jobs) and government work (900 jobs), these gains were largely counter-balanced by losses in professional and business services (-1,900 jobs) and retail trade (-1,500 jobs).

"The federal government shutdown did not impact Oregon’s December federal government jobs tally," OED said.

The agency said that retail trade saw a weak hiring period during the holidays as the industry continued to shed jobs. Although retail has seen some minimal growth beginning in early 2017, the past year has not been kind to the industry overall.

"The sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores component of retail has downsized over the past few years due to changes in how customers acquire their goods and services," OED said.

Oregon’s non-farm payroll employment has increased by 30,800 jobs, or 1.6 percent, since December 2017. In that time, construction remained the fastest growing industry, with a gain of 4,900 jobs or 4.8 percent.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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