The latest figures indicate that Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been on a declining trend for three years, after reaching a high of 11.6 percent in May and June 2009. The rate was close to 8.5 percent for March through June.
Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1,700 in June. The May figure was revised upward to show a gain of 7,600 jobs. In June, two major industries posted large seasonally adjusted job gains: manufacturing (+900 jobs) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,700). These gains were partially offset by declines in government (-1,200 jobs) and other services (‑1,000).
Manufacturing added 3,300 jobs in June, which was 900 more than its expected gain. Durable goods added 2,700, with wood product manufacturing (+1,300 jobs), fabricated metals (+300), machinery (+200), and computer and electronic (+200) all gaining. Nondurable goods added 600 jobs.
At 168,700, seasonally adjusted manufacturing jobs were at the highest level in more than three years. The sector added 6,800 jobs since its low point in October 2009, but is still well below its pre-recession peak of 208,900 reached in July 2006.
Trade, transportation, and utilities added 1,900 jobs in June, which was well above the industry's normally flat seasonal pattern for the month. Wholesale trade continued along its trend line of the past two years. It has now regained nearly half of its employment losses seen in 2009.
The recent employment numbers in retail indicate an accelerating trend. Seasonally adjusted employment is up by 3,100 or 1.7 percent between April and June. This rapid upturn follows slower growth throughout most of the prior two years. Retail, like wholesale, is also nearly halfway back to its pre-recession peak, which occurred more than four years ago.
Government edged downward by 300 jobs in June, when a gain of 900 is the typical seasonal pattern. Federal government added close to its normal amount for June as it grew by 1,000 jobs heading into the summer months, when many natural-resource-based federal agencies experience their heaviest workloads. State education dropped by 300 in June, while the rest of state government rose by 600. Meanwhile, local government education shrank by 2,400 jobs heading into summer vacation.
Other services cut 1,200 jobs when its normal pattern is essentially flat. Losses stemmed primarily from religious organizations cutting staff leading into summer.