May 15, 2019 3:35 a.m.
Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 3,300 jobs in April, following a gain of 6,500 jobs in March.
Data from the State of Oregon Employment Department said 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. That includes manufacturing which added 700 jobs, government where 600 jobs were added and construction, which added 500 jobs. Only one major industry shed a substantial number of jobs. That was professional and business services which dropped 1,000 jobs.
Economist David Cooke said 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 percent. Job gains were relatively weak, averaging 2,300 per month during mid-2017 through mid-2018. Cooke said more recently job growth has averaged 5,400 jobs per month since September of 2018. The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing and utilities which gained 4,900 jobs or 7.6 percent and construction which added 7,000 jobs which equals 6.7 percent. Job gains were widespread, with 6 other major industries adding between 2.3 percent and 3.5 percent to their job base in the past 12 months.
Oregon’s unemployment rate in April was 4.3 percent. That’s essentially unchanged from the 4.4 percent rate in March. Cooke said Oregon’s unemployment rate has held within a tight range between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for the past 2 and a half years, since November of 2016.
The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent in April, from 3.8 percent in March.