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News Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Employment in Oregon November 2018 News Release - 12/18/18

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Was 3.9 Percent in November

Oregon’s unemployment rate edged up to 3.9 percent in November from 3.8 percent in October. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been close to 4 percent for the past two years. The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent in both October and November.

In November, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 2,400 jobs, following a revised gain of 4,300 jobs in October. In November, professional and business services added 3,300 jobs and government added 700. Wholesale trade cut 900 jobs. No other major industry registered an over-the-month change of more than 600 jobs.

Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 36,600 jobs, or 1.9 percent, since November 2017. In that time, construction remained the fastest growing industry, with a gain of 7,700 jobs, or 7.7 percent. Professional and business services also grew rapidly, adding 8,200 jobs, or 3.3 percent. Health care and social assistance added 4,700 jobs, or 2.0 percent. However, several of Oregon’s major industries slowed recently. Leisure and hospitality (+1,500 jobs, or 0.7%) expanded at less than half the rate of overall employment. And two industries declined over the year: retail trade ( 400 jobs, or -0.2%) and private educational services (-300 jobs, or -0.8%). 

Recent employment estimates for professional and business services indicate rapid expansion in this broad industry. All three of its component industries expanded in recent months. Growth over the past 12 months was led by administrative and waste services, which grew by 5,600 jobs, or 5.5 percent. Temporary help services companies and employee leasing firms continue to hire within employment services. Management of companies and enterprises grew by 2,100 jobs, or 4.4 percent, in the past 12 months. This industry consists of corporate headquarters and has grown rapidly over the past six years. Professional and technical services grew rapidly during 2010 through 2017, but slowed recently, adding just 500 jobs in the past 12 months. 

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the November county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Thursday, December 27th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for December on Tuesday, January 15th. 

All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.

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 April, May, and June 2018 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 people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

Oregon Employers Will Remain at Average Rate of 1.97% for 2019 - 11/21/18

Unemployment tax rates for Oregon employers will remain at tax schedule three for 2019. Tax schedule three includes an average rate of 1.97% for the first $40,600 paid to each employee. The specific rate each employer will pay under the new schedule depends on how much they have used the unemployment insurance system.

Oregon adjusts employer tax rates annually using eight tax schedules based on the solvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Movement between the eight schedules of tax rates represents part of the self-balancing aspects of Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund law. Each September, a formula contained in statute, determines how much should be collected during the next year to maintain a solvent fund. Each schedule has a range of tax rates based on an employer’s previous unemployment insurance experience. Employers with more unemployment insurance claims have a higher tax rate than those with fewer claims.

As a result of this approach, Oregon has one of the strongest trust funds in the nation. The trust fund provides support for temporarily unemployed workers, their families, and communities while minimizing the impact on employers. This approach allows support without having to reduce benefits to workers, increase employer taxes, or borrow from the federal government, as most other states had to do for the Great Recession.

Because of Oregon’s innovative Unemployment Trust Fund model, we are well positioned to pay benefits in the next recession. Unlike other states where employers had to pay additional taxes or surcharges when states borrowed to pay benefits, Oregon’s trust fund is earning interest. This reduces the amount that needs to be collected from Oregon employers to maintain the trust fund.

Oregon’s unemployment rate continues a downward trend in 2018. The low number of unemployed workers reflects a very tight job market. This creates some challenges for employers maintaining their workforce, but means that there are far fewer Oregonians who are unable to find a job. The jobs employers provide contribute to a vibrant Oregon economy and support the quality of life for Oregonians.

The Oregon Employment Department mailed notifications to businesses last week regarding their individual tax rates and encourages employers to wait until they receive their individual notice before attempting to contact the department with questions. Any employer who has not received their notice within the next couple of weeks should contact the Oregon Employment Department Unemployment Insurance Tax Section. Contact information may be found online at www.Employment.Oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: Employer_2019_Tax_Rates_FINAL.pdf