SALEM, Ore. — Job growth in Oregon slowed down in September after an impressive rally the month before, according to the latest figures from the Oregon Employment Department (OED).
The state gained 16,200 jobs in August, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.5 percent. In September, payroll employment rose by a more modest 5,100 jobs — coinciding with a drop in unemployment to 8 percent.
"Over the past three months the rate of job growth slowed, with 39,000 jobs added in that time, following more rapid growth in May and June, when 83,100 jobs were added," OED said in a statement. "Despite the recent slowdown, Oregon employers added jobs in each of the past five months, and the state has recovered 45 percent of the jobs cut in March and April."
The largest gains in September came from the leisure and hospitality sector, followed by "financial activities," health care and social assistance, retail trade, and information. Two industries lost a "substantial" number of jobs in September, however — construction and private educational services.
"Leisure and hospitality continues to be the industry most impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," OED said. "Its employment bounced back substantially in May and June, but job gains have slowed over the past three months."
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector totaled 163,200 jobs in September, which was down 53,400 jobs, or 24.7 percent, since its peak month of February.
OED said that retail trade and other closely associated jobs have rebounded quickly, nearly to pre-pandemic levels.
Oregon's unemployment rate has largely followed national trends. Unemployment in the U.S. fell to 7.9 percent in September, from 8.4 percent in August.