September 15, 2020 10:40 a.m.
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in August.
That’s according to new data from the Oregon Employment Department.
That is a drop from 10.4 percent in July. The unemployment rate was more than double last year’s rate of 3.6 percent in August of 2019. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent in August, falling from 10.2 percent in July.
The new report said Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 11,300 jobs in August, following a revised gain of 17,700 jobs in July. Over the past four months, employers added back 41 percent of the jobs that were cut in March and April.
The OED report said over-the-month gains in August were largest in leisure and hospitality which added 4,200 jobs. Retail trade gained 3,300 jobs while construction added 3,200 and government jobs added 3,000. Two industries cut a substantial number of jobs in August. Wholesale trade and health and social assistance each lost 1,400 jobs.
The report said leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants, drinking establishments, hotels and recreational industries, has added back the most jobs of any of the major industries over the past four months. Despite adding 63,200 jobs during that time, the category is only a little over halfway back to its February 2020 peak employment level, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail trade has bounced back closer to its recent peak employment level. It added 16,100 jobs over the past four months, which was nearly 75 percent of the jobs lost earlier in the year. The third industry to add back more than half of its jobs lost, while also rebounding by more than 10,000 jobs was health care and social assistance. This industry, despite a 1,400 jobs loss in August, added 18,000 jobs over the past four months. That means the category has regained nearly two thirds of its losses in March and April.
The report said not all industries have rebounded with substantial growth over the past four months. In August, manufacturing, government, and information and professional services remained near their low point for the year.