Oregon’s Unemployment Rate was 4.8% in January
In January, Oregon’s joblessness rate was 4.8%, maintaining the revised rates from October, November, and December 2022. The state last saw a higher unemployment rate in July 2021, at 5.1%. Concurrently, the national unemployment rate fell to 3.4% in January, hitting its lowest level in over 50 years. Recent yearly data revisions indicated that Oregon’s unemployment rate was higher than previously reported in the past year, accompanied by a marginally slower rate of payroll employment growth.
Nonfarm payroll employment in Oregon grew by 9,900 jobs in January, following December’s increase of 5,600 jobs. The state experienced an average monthly job growth of 5,600 throughout 2022. The largest job gains in January were in health care and social assistance (+2,200 jobs); professional and business services (+1,800); and leisure and hospitality (+1,400). Private educational services was the only major industry to suffer job losses in January, losing 600 positions.
From July 2022 to January 2023, the health care and social assistance sector experienced rapid expansion, adding 4,500 jobs for a total of 271,800 positions. Prior to this surge, there had been minimal net job change compared to early 2021. Over the past year, social assistance became the fastest-growing component industry, with 5,000 new jobs since January 2022.
The professional and business services sector sustained strong growth over the past two-plus years, adding 13,000 jobs (a 5.0% increase) since January 2022. This industry represents 14% of Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll jobs, so the consistent job gains throughout 2021 and 2022 were significant.
Leisure and hospitality saw growth in January, continuing its steady expansion and partial rebound from the recession nearly three years prior. The sector added 12,500 jobs (a 6.5% increase) over the 12 months leading up to January. However, it is still 10,600 jobs below its pre-recession peak in February 2020.
Private educational services experienced a decline in January, resting at 34,800 jobs after a stable period since May 2022.