Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose in April, continuing a recent surge.
A press release from the Oregon Employment Department said the state’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose 3,300 in April, following a gain of 6,500 jobs in March. Monthly gains were strongest in health care and social assistance and in leisure and hospitality, which each added 1,000 jobs.
Several other major industries added at least 500 jobs, including manufacturing, government and construction. Only one major industry — professional and business services — shed a substantial number of jobs, dropping 1,000 jobs during the time frame.
Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economic growth appears to have accelerated. Since April 2018, total payroll employment is up 48,200 jobs, or 2.5%. Job gains were relatively weak, averaging 2,300 per month, during mid-2017 through mid-2018. More recently, job growth has averaged 5,400 jobs per month since September 2018. The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities and construction. Job gains were widespread, with six other major industries adding between 2.3% and 3.5% to their jobs base in the past 12 months.
Job totals for recent months were revised upward substantially, indicating more rapid hiring in Oregon in late 2018 and early this year. Total nonfarm employment was revised upward by approximately 10,000 jobs for each month of December 2018 through March 2019.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.3% in April. It was 4.4% in March. Oregon’s unemployment rate has held within a tight range between 4.0% and 4.4% for the past two and a half years, since November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.6% in April from 3.8% in March.