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News Releases
Media Statement: Economic Update, Paid Leave Oregon, Employer Contributions for Unemployment Insurance in 2023, and Employer Tax Relief - 11/16/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Nov. 16, 2022

Media Contact:   

Rebeka Gipson-King
communications@employ.oregon.gov

Nov. 16, 2022, Oregon Employment Department 
Media Statement 

Economic Update

This morning the Employment Department released the jobs numbers and unemployment rate for Oregon in October. (Video with Oregon Employment Department State Employment Economist Gail Krumenauer discussing the details is available on YouTube.) 

Job growth bounced back in Oregon during October. Employers added 5,200 jobs to nonfarm payrolls.

Three sectors of Oregon’s economy had large job gains in October. Financial activities added 2,500 jobs, with most of that occurring in real estate and rental and leasing. Private health care and social assistance added 1,100 jobs in October. Oregon manufacturers also added 1,100 jobs over the month.

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.1% in October and was slightly higher than the U.S. rate of 3.7%. Even with this slight uptick, Oregon’s unemployment rate remains low by historical standards.

Paid Leave Oregon

Jan. 1 is an important date for Oregon employers and workers, as it marks a significant step toward Oregon workers having a vital safety net — Paid Leave Oregon. On that date, employers and employees will start contributing to the Paid Leave Oregon trust fund, which will pay for employees to take paid time off for some of life’s most important moments.

Paid Leave Oregon covers leave for the birth or adoption of a child, for serious illness or injury, for taking care of a seriously ill family member, and for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. 

This week, Paid Leave Oregon launched a new statewide campaign aimed at notifying Oregon employers about their role and responsibilities in the new program, which begins in just six weeks, on Jan. 1. 

This statewide ad campaign includes social and digital advertising featuring Oregon employers, radio advertising, and a new video that explains the program. Paid Leave Oregon also has a new online employer toolkit, a one-stop place for employers to find all the resources they need to prepare. 

The new campaign targets employers, because all employers, regardless of size, will collect contributions from employees starting Jan. 1. This effort is in addition to the ongoing outreach Paid Leave Oregon has been doing since 2021 to employees, employers and partners.

Paid Leave Oregon benefits will be available to employees in September 2023, and another statewide campaign focusing on employees and small businesses will begin next year.

Employer Contributions for Unemployment Insurance in 2023 

By Nov. 15 each year, in accordance with Oregon law, the Employment Department notifies Oregon employers of the unemployment insurance payroll tax schedule and contribution rate for the following calendar year

Employer contributions, which are set according to a statutory formula for establishing the annual rate schedule, provide the funding for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund in Oregon. This trust fund is the source of the unemployment insurance benefits for Oregon workers. Workers do not contribute to this fund or to their unemployment benefits. 

The Oregon Employment Department recently mailed each employer their annual Unemployment Insurance Notice of Tax Rate for 2023, and the notification this year is good news for employers. The department is again lowering the tax rate for employers, from an average rate of 1.97% of taxable wages in the 2022 calendar year (tax rate schedule III) to an average rate of 1.73% of taxable wages (tax rate schedule II) in 2023. 

Thanks to bipartisan efforts within Oregon’s Legislature and the strong collaboration between Oregon’s worker and business communities, Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is well prepared for economic challenges, such as another economic downturn. This means that if there is another recession, there will be less long-term unemployment insurance costs for Oregon businesses. It also means the Employment Department will be able to collect less in employer contributions to maintain Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund in 2023 than it projects the fund will pay out in benefits. 

The notice sent to employers about the 2023 tax schedule and contribution rate included a reminder about the Paid Leave Oregon contribution rates for employers and employees, which were set earlier this year and will start on Jan. 1. 

Receiving timely, accurate wage reports and contributions from employers helps the Employment Department efficiently and effectively operate both the Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon programs. 

Filing these reports and tax contributions is now much easier with the Employment Department’s modernized system, Frances Online. Employers will use Frances Online for both their Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon contributions in 2023, and they also can read letters and make changes to their business accounts in the new system. Employers filed their quarterly payroll tax filing for the third quarter of 2022 in Frances Online for the first time, and the numbers indicated that employers and third-party administrators are adapting well to the modernized system. As of Nov. 4, more than 166,395 employers had filed their third-quarter filings in Frances Online.

As employers and others begin to use Frances Online more frequently, the Employment Department is making adjustments to the system in response to customers’ feedback about their experiences. 

“One of the skills we honed most during the pandemic was to listen to our customers, and better understand their experiences, so that we could make the right adjustments to really meet their needs,” said Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld. “We have already made many adjustments to Frances Online based on what we’ve heard from our customers, and we are planning more enhancements in the future.”

Employer Tax Relief

Oregon employers recently received significant unemployment insurance tax relief thanks to collaborative legislation passed in 2021, House Bill 3389. The bill was intended to provide short- and long-term pandemic tax relief to Oregon employers while protecting the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Through the bill’s short-term provisions, OED has provided unemployment insurance tax forgiveness to more than 19,000 employers and has issued more than $43.3 million in payments to eligible employers. Looking longer term, from 2021 to 2029, the changes are estimated to save Oregon employers $2.2 billion in unemployment insurance taxes.  

“We want to thank Oregon businesses for all they do to promote economic stability in Oregon, even during challenging times,” said Gerstenfeld. “We know many employers in our state have faced significant challenges in the past several years. We’ve seen supply chain issues, and some employers have had difficulty recruiting and retaining workers. Despite this, we’ve seen Oregon’s employers continue to contribute to our economy and create record numbers of jobs.” 

Contributions from employers have been vital in supporting Oregon’s ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and their efforts have helped people and communities across the state regain financial stability and prosper.

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: 11.16.22_OED_Media_Statement.pdf
Media Advisory: Oregon's Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.1% in October - 11/16/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
November 16, 2022

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist
(971) 301-3771
Video and Audio available at 10 a.m.
David Cooke, Economist (971) 375-5288

“***MEDIA ADVISORY***”

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.1% in October

 

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.1% in October from 3.8% in September and was above the recent low of 3.5% reached in May, June and July. October was the first month Oregon’s unemployment rate was above 4% since January, when the rate was 4.2%. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7% in October.

 

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 5,200 jobs in October, following a loss of 500 jobs in September. The gains in October were largest in financial activities (+2,500 jobs), manufacturing (+1,100), health care and social assistance (+1,100), leisure and hospitality (+800), and construction (+700). These gains were partially offset by losses in retail trade (-700 jobs) and government (-600).

 

Oregon’s private sector added 5,800 jobs in October, reaching another all-time high of 1,682,300. This was 10,600 jobs, or 0.6%, above this sector’s pre-recession peak in February 2020.

 

Financial activities added 2,500 jobs in October, bouncing back from job declines totaling 1,600 between June and September. Job gains in October were strongest in real estate and rental and leasing, which added 1,900, as firms in the following industries added workers: rental centers and lessors of buildings and dwellings

 

Construction continued its rapid expansion of the past 12 months, when it added 8,800 jobs, or 7.9% growth. It employed 120,900 in October, another record high, which was well above construction’s pre-recession total of 112,300 in February 2020.

 

In contrast to the rapid growth of many of Oregon’s industries, retail trade trended downward this year. It employed 208,500 in October, which was a loss of 2,900 jobs during the first 10 months of the year. Since October 2021, general merchandise stores cut 2,300 jobs, which was the most of the retail component industries. Two other retail industries shedding jobs over the year included motor vehicle and parts dealers (-900 jobs) and building material and garden supply stores (-800).

 

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the October county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for November on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
 

Notes: 

All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted, except for the industries within retail trade.

 

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 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 2021 tax records data. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.

 

The PDF version of the news release can be found at QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit 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.

 

To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit unemployment.oregon.gov.

 

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.

 

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Paid Leave Oregon launches statewide campaign to help employers prepare for paid leave - 11/15/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Nov. 15, 2022

Media Contacts:
Angela Yeager, communications officer, angela.l.yeager@employ.oregon.gov

Note: A Spanish language version of this press release is attached.
Nota: Adjunta hay una versión en español de este comunicado de prensa.

SALEM – This week, Paid Leave Oregon launched a statewide campaign aimed at notifying Oregon employers about their role and responsibilities in the new program, which begins in just six weeks, on Jan. 1.

To make sure employers are ready to participate in the program, the statewide campaign includes social and digital advertising featuring Oregon employers. High-resolution photos for media from the campaign are available at this link.

Paid Leave Oregon also has a new online employer toolkit, a one-stop place for employers to find all the resources they need to prepare. The toolkit includes the required notice poster, an employer guidebook, a new video, and sample social posts that employers and partners can use to share information with their employees and networks, and much more. Resources for employers are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese.

“Paid Leave Oregon is here to support employers so they can help their employees prepare for this new program,” said Karen Madden Humelbaugh, director of Paid Leave Oregon. “We are excited to share all of these new resources with employers, who we know are still learning about the program and how it will help Oregonians.”

Paid Leave Oregon allows employees to take paid time off for some of life’s most important moments. It covers leave for the birth or adoption of a child, for serious illness or injury, for taking care of a seriously ill family member, and for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or harassment.

The new campaign targets employers, because all employers, regardless of size, will collect contributions from employees starting Jan. 1. Both employers and employees fund Paid Leave Oregon with a total contribution rate of 1 percent of gross payroll. Employees will pay 60 percent, and large employers will pay 40 percent, of the 1 percent contribution rate. For example, if an employee makes $5,000, the employee will pay $30, and the employer will pay $20.

However, only employers with 25 or more employees also will contribute to the program. Small employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to make contributions, but they can choose to participate in coverage as a benefit to their employees.

“Paid Leave Oregon will make it easy for business owners like us to support employees, and that helps keep trained folks on our team,” said Kathryn Weeks of Peoria Gardens in Linn County. 

Peoria Gardens is one of the local Oregon employers featured in the Paid Leave campaign. 

"Without this program we could not afford such comprehensive coverage, and we know that our workers are also contributing,” Weeks said. “The state will confirm a worker qualifies, and of course pay for the leave itself out of the fund. This is a real service, both for us and for our employees."

Paid Leave Oregon will administer the program, including paying employees while they are on leave and determining their eligibility for benefits. Benefits will be available to employees in September 2023. Another statewide campaign focusing on employee outreach begins in 2023.

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov.