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News Releases
Press Release: Oregon's Employment Situation Sees Little Change in June - 07/17/24

July 17, 2024

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

Oregon’s Employment Situation Sees Little Change in June

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1% in June and 4.2% in May and has been in a tight range between 4.0% and 4.2% since October 2023. The U.S. unemployment rate, at 4.1%, changed little in June.

In June, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 600 jobs, following a gain of 4,000 jobs in May. June’s gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+1,200 jobs); financial activities (+800); leisure and hospitality (+700); and other services (+700). Declines in June were largest in professional and business services (-1,800 jobs) and manufacturing (-600).

Health care and social assistance continued its rapid expansion. During the two-and-a-half-year period January 2022 through June 2024, it added 34,000 jobs, or 12.8%. Employment gains in social assistance have accelerated in recent months and the industry added 8,800 jobs, or 12.2%, during the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the three health care component industries each added more than 2,000 jobs since June 2023: nursing and residential care facilities (+2,700 jobs, or 5.1%); ambulatory health care services (+2,700 jobs, or 2.7%); and hospitals (+2,200 jobs, or 3.7%).

Despite large gains in health care and a few other industries recently, the list of declining industries is growing. Six major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in the past 12 months. Three of these major industries each declined by about 3,600 jobs since June 2023: retail trade (-3,600 jobs, or -1.7%); professional and business services (-3,600 jobs, or -1.3%); and manufacturing (-3,500 jobs, or -1.8%). The other major industries cutting at least 700 jobs in that time were construction (-2,700 jobs, or -2.3%); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-1,100 jobs, or -1.4%); and information (-700 jobs, or -1.9%).


Press Release: Oregon's Labor Force: What Slower Population Growth and Increasing Retirements Mean for the Workforce - 07/11/24

July 11, 2024

Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist
(971) 301-3771
Podcast available at 10:00 a.m. 

Oregon’s Labor Force: What Slower Population Growth 
and Increasing Retirements Mean for the Workforce

The youngest members of the large Baby Boom Generation, born between 1946 and 1964, turn 60 years old in 2024. Workers in this age group have been, and are expected to continue, shifting into retirement and taking their skills and experience with them. 

  • In 1990, one out of 10 Oregon job holders was age 55 or older. By 2022, that share grew to 24%.
  • In 2023, the number of Oregonians not in the labor force due to retirement reached 786,000, an all-time high. Over the past decade, the number of Oregonians not in the labor force due to retirement grew by 160,000 or 26%.

The workforce is aging nationally as well, but Oregon has been at a workforce advantage in boosting its labor force. Decades of population growth – driven primarily by net in-migration – has helped fuel labor force growth, even as the workforce has aged and overall labor force participation rates have generally declined. 

  • Oregon's population grew by 40% between 1993 and 2023, compared with 30% for the U.S.
  • Oregon’s natural increase in population turned negative in 2021 and 2022, with fewer births than deaths, as the COVID-19 pandemic met the long-term trends of an aging population and lower birth rates.
  • In 2021, for the first time in almost four decades, population estimates showed negative net migration, and an overall decline in Oregon’s population.

The declines in natural increase, net migration, and population have contributed to slower labor force growth. Slower gains may be somewhat offset by greater labor force participation among the existing population. 

  • Oregon’s labor force participation rate was 62.4% in 2023, the highest in a decade. That’s still well below the peak of 68.9% in 1998.

During periods like the past couple of years, where low unemployment and relatively large numbers of job openings are paired with slow labor force growth, that creates a tighter labor market for Oregon employers. That makes it harder for employers to find enough workers to fill all their job openings. 

These dynamics may have also contributed to Oregon’s slower job growth in recent years compared to the U.S. Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment expanded by 3.4% between 2019 and 2023, while Oregon's expanded jobs by 1.2%. This is a change; typically Oregon’s job (and labor force) growth exceeds the nation’s over business cycles. If recent labor force and unemployment trends continue, they might further limit Oregon’s growth potential relative to historic norms and the nation. More details are available in the full report at QualityInfo.org


Press Release: Oregon's Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 4,000 in May - 06/20/24


Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist 
(971) 301-3771

Video and Audio available at 10 a.m.

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 4,000 in May

Salem, OR  In May, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,000 jobs, following a revised gain of 2,400 jobs in April. Health care and social assistance gained 1,900 jobs in May, while leisure and hospitality added 1,000. Monthly declines were largest in retail trade (-800) and construction (-400).

Private-sector job growth has been very slow over the year, gaining 3,500 jobs (+0.2%). Health care and social assistance was the primary source of growth with a solid gain of 16,200 jobs (+5.7%). All four component industries have been adding jobs at a rapid clip. Elsewhere in the private sector, manufacturing dropped 3,700 jobs over the year, retail trade lost 3,400, and construction dropped 2,200 jobs in the past year.

The public sector added 9,100 jobs over the past 12 months. Local, state, and federal government are all at least 2% above their job counts a year ago. Local education gained 3,400 jobs over the year to reach 142,600 in May. This is the first spring that local schools reached the employment level in spring 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.2% in May for the fourth straight month. Looking back at the past few years, Oregon’s monthly unemployment rate has been 4.2% or lower every month since October 2021. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.0% in May.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the May county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, June 25, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for June on Wednesday, July 17.



All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted except for the local government education job figures.

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


The PDF version of this news release can be found at QualityInfo.org/press-release. To get the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit QualityInfo.org, select Tools, then choose LAUS or CES under the Economy header. 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 utilizarnuestros 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 favorllame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.