SALEM, Ore. — The unemployment rate in Oregon has topped 14 percent after massive job losses that began in March due to the state's coronavirus restrictions, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
"Today’s release shows that 266,600 jobs were lost in the first two months of this pandemic and the unemployment rate has reached 14.2 percent. While these numbers make for shocking historical records, they cannot totally capture the economic trauma so many Oregonians are experiencing at this time,” said Anna Johnson, Senior Economic Analyst with OED.
At the beginning of March, unemployment in Oregon was at a near-record low of 3.5 percent. By the end of April, it had shot up to 14.2 percent as entire business sectors shut down — the highest rate and over-month increase in unemployment since comparable records began in 1976.
"The number of unemployed Oregonians rose by 227,530, to reach 300,420 in April," OED said. "These sharp increases reflect the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it. The U.S. unemployment rate rose from 4.4 percent in March to 14.7 percent in April."
Oregon employers lost about 253,400 jobs in April alone following a loss of 13,200 in March. Over April, one out of every eight jobs in Oregon was idled or lost, OED said. The leisure and hospitality sector lost more than half of its jobs, 54.6 percent, in the space of just one month.
"Job losses were widespread throughout the economy though. No sector in Oregon gained jobs in April," OED said. "Other industries that were hardest hit in April were health care and social assistance (-26,800 jobs), retail trade (-22,500), professional and business services (-19,200), government (-13,100), other services (-12,900), construction (-12,000), and manufacturing (-11,600)."