Oregon Employment Department
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News Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Employment in Oregon May 2018 News Release - 06/12/18

Oregon Adds 4,800 Jobs in May; Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 4.1 Percent

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in May. For 17 consecutive months, the rate has been at or near 4.1 percent, its lowest level since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May, from 3.9 percent in April.

In May, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,800 jobs, following a revised loss of 700 jobs in April. Four major industries added at least 900 jobs in May: construction (+1,600 jobs); health care and social assistance (+1,500); professional and business services (+1,000); and leisure and hospitality (+900). Only two major industries dropped in May: wholesale trade (-800 jobs) and retail trade (-600).

Over the past 12 months, Oregon’s nonfarm employment rose by 34,600 jobs, or 1.9 percent. This growth was slightly faster than the national growth rate of 1.6 percent during the same period. In Oregon, over-the-year job gains were strongest in construction (+9,600 jobs, or 9.9%); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+2,700 jobs, or 4.3%); and leisure and hospitality (+6,200 jobs, or 3.0%). Since May 2017, only two major industries cut jobs: government ( 800 jobs, or -0.3%) and information (-300 jobs, or -0.9%).

Construction added 1,600 jobs in May, reaching an all-time high of 106,400 jobs. This was the first time construction rose above its previous record high reached more than 10 years ago in August 2007 when there were 105,400 jobs in construction. Since 2007, residential building construction has had the fastest growth rate of the industries within construction; at 18,700 jobs in May, it was 19 percent above its 2007 annual average. Building equipment contractors grew 12 percent over the past 11 years and nonresidential building construction grew 8 percent. Most other industries within the construction sector are still slightly below their record highs of 2007. However, heavy and civil engineering construction—at 10,100 jobs in May—remained 18 percent below its 2007 average.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the May county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, June 19th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for June on Tuesday, July 17th.

All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted except for the construction component industries.

The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.

The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month’s release incorporates the October, November and December 2017 tax records data. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.

*Effective with the January 2018 data, employment of Oregon’s approximately 17,000 home care workers are counted in private health care and social assistance instead of state government. The change was due to legislative action clarifying that for purposes of workforce and labor market information, home care workers are not employees of state government. The reclassification affects private sector and government monthly change figures for January 2018 and will affect over-the-year change figures through December 2018. It does not affect total payroll employment levels.

The pdf version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at www.QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit www.QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.


Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 471-040-0005 - 05/30/18

The Employment Department is promulgating changes to Oregon Administrative Rule 471-040-0005. This rule establishes how Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit recipients and their employers may appeal the administrative decisions issued by the department by requesting a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

This change in rule will shift which section of the agency internally will handle processing of hearing requests, from the OAH to the UI Division.

The department is amending this rule to improve agency efficiency. We also believe that this change will further demonstrate the OAH’s impartiality when handling appeals of decisions made by the department.

The department is making three changes to the rule:

1. In addition to receiving requests by mail or by fax, the department will accept requests by e-mail or other electronic means as designated by the department on the appealable document. The department will no longer accept UI benefit hearing requests by telephone.

2. The department will no longer accept requests for hearing received by mail or by fax to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

3. Requests for hearing will continue to be filed provided the party specifically requests a hearing or otherwise expresses a present intent to appeal but the department will now require that it can be determined what issue or decision is being appealed.

These changes do not diminish or limit the right to due process UI benefit recipients or their employers have in requesting a hearing. The transition period for this change in process will be three months.

The Proposed Rulemaking Hearing for this change will occur on Friday, June 22, 2018 in the Auditorium at the Oregon Employment Department at 875 Union St NE, Salem, OR 97311 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Anyone interested in providing the department feedback on the rule is welcome to attend the public hearing in person. If you are unable to attend the hearing in person but want to provide comments on the rule, you have the option of calling the conference line at 888-850-4523 (Passcode # 440528).

Written comments may also be submitted via e-mail to OED_Rules@oregon.gov by Friday, June 22, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. All comments received will be given equal consideration before the department proceeds with the permanent rulemaking.       

For more information on this, and other Employment Department Administrative Rules, visit our website: http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/Agency/Pages/OED%20Administrative%20Rules.aspx

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 471-010-0010 - 05/30/18

The Oregon Employment Department is promulgating changes to Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 471-010-0010.

OAR 471-010-0010 outlines the Rules Procedures for the Employment Department. The agency is proposing to update the language to reflect how modern technology has changed the way notice is given to the public. Currently, the most efficient system to notify newspapers of any agency news is FlashAlert Newswire, which sends the information to a large number of local, national, and international news organizations. The revised administrative rule purposefully does not specify the way in which our agency furnishes notice because technology is changing so rapidly, and in the future, there may be other ways that become more efficient than FlashAlert Newswire. 

The specific news agencies are being removed in an effort to account for the rapidly changing news environment. By saying a “news agency” notices will continue to be sent to news agencies like the Associated Press and those in the Capitol Press Room who are able to widely distribute the information so that the public and other interested parties have the opportunity to comment on all administrative rulemakings.

Written comments may also be submitted via e-mail to OED_Rules@oregon.gov by Friday, June 29, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. All comments received will be given equal consideration before the department proceeds with the permanent rulemaking.   

For more information related to the Employment Department’s Administrative Rulemakings, please visit our website: http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/Agency/Pages/OED%20Administrative%20Rules.aspx