SALEM, Ore. — For 14 months in a row, Oregon’s unemployment has hovered close to 4.1 percent, according to the Oregon Employment Department. That’s the lowest it has been since 1976—when the government began keeping track of those figures.
Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 2,700 jobs in February, and 4,900 jobs in January. According to the financial company IG Group, nonfarm payroll (like the name suggests) includes jobs in manufacturing, construction, and goods companies—but does not include farm jobs, private household work, or non-profit employees.
In February, the retail sector added over 1,800 jobs, construction added over 1,000, and health care added over 1,000. However, there were significant losses in other sectors—1,100 in private educational services, 900 in professional and business services, and 700 in manufacturing.
Over the last 12 months, Oregon has added 43,700 jobs, or a gain of 2.3 percent. The fastest growing industries have been construction, service, and hospitality.
Compared to job growth in other states, Oregon ranks fifth in the country—lagging behind only Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Washington.