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Oregon jobs frozen, Gov’t jobs drop, Who rose, fell

October 19, 2010

— Below are two charts, one showing Oregon’s employment stagnation and the other showing where jobs have grown and shrunk
Data and Analysis from Oregon Employment Department,


Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.6 percent in September, unchanged from August. The rate has been between 10.5 and 10.7 percent for the most recent 11 months. Oregon’s unemployment rate was 11.0 percent in September 2009.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in both August and September. In September, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 1,800, following a loss of 2,800 (as revised) in August.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)

Seasonally adjusted employment in the private sector grew by 1,600 in September. This measure of employment reached a recent low of 1,290,300 in March. Since then it has risen by 5,600. Over that six?month period, these three major industry sectors have added more than 2,400 jobs apiece: professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and other services.

In September, three of the major industries had large seasonally adjusted job declines: government (?3,400 jobs), manufacturing (?2,100), and construction (?1,000). These losses were partially offset by gains in leisure and hospitality (+2,800 jobs), professional and business services, (+1,400) and other services (+1,400).

Government added only 4,300 jobs in September, during the start of the school year, when job gains for the month are typically about 7,700. Local government education was up 8,300, as most school employees started the school year following summer break. Local education employed 89,800 in September, which was down 2,600 from September 2009.

Local government has been on a declining trend as far as seasonally adjusted employment, since

reaching a recent high of 192,400 jobs in April. Over the past five months it has cut back by 4,700. The ending of work for 989 intermittent Census workers reduced both federal government and total government for September, subtracting from the 1,099 individuals who were working for the Census in August.

State government reduced its headcount by 500 in September. Usually employment at the Oregon University System is still at summer?break levels in September. This was the case last month as state education employed 24,600 in September-200 jobs below the August level, which was the prior low point for the year. However, state education was up 900 from its September 2009 tally.

Manufacturing slashed 1,900 jobs in September, during a month where it would typically add 200 jobs. Wood product manufacturing cut 400 jobs to employ 19,900 in September. The industry has been hovering around 20,000 jobs for the past 12 months.

Computer and electronic product manufacturing cut 500 jobs in September. This put the industry back to where it was in January 2010, near its lowest employment total since 1995.

Despite improvements at the national level in the number of RVs being manufactured and sold over the past year, Oregon’s transportation equipment manufacturing employment continues to trend downward. Employment was 8,600 in September, which was down 300 for the month and down 1,200 for the year.

Construction cut 1,300 jobs in September, when a loss of only 300 is the normal seasonal movement. Most of the published component industries within construction showed over?the?month job losses, including residential building construction (?400 jobs) and building equipment contractors (?900). On a seasonally adjusted basis, construction employed 65,900 in September, less than 2,000 above the recessionary low point of 64,000 in February. The industry has failed to add back substantial numbers of jobs as continuing high levels of residential foreclosures have been a contributing factor to low housing starts.

Professional and business services has been on the upswing over the past three months. In September, it added 1,400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Professional and technical services accounted for most of this gain, as it added 1,200 jobs. Companies in this industry include those providing services in accounting, design, consulting, research, advertising, and veterinary.

The closely watched “employment services” industry added 800 for the month and is also up 800 since September 2009.

Leisure and hospitality cut back fewer jobs than normal at the end of summer. This was good news to those restaurant employees who were kept on staff for the month rather than being let go at the end of the peak season. Leisure and hospitality cut only 1,400 jobs in September, when a loss of 4,200 would be the normal change for the month. Over the past year, the industry is up 3,000, which is the largest gain among the major industries.

Other services added 1,100 jobs at a time of year when a loss of 300 is the normal seasonal movement.

Membership associations and organizations accounted for the bulk of the new
hires, as it added 800 in September.

Hours and Earnings (Establishment Survey Data)

The Oregon Employment Department also released hours and earnings data for September. These figures track the average workweek and average

where it was in January 2010, near its lowest employment total since 1995. Despite improvements at the national level in the number of RVs being manufactured and sold over the past year, Oregon’s transportation equipment manufacturing employment continues to trend downward. Employment was 8,600 in September, which was down 300 for the month and down 1,200 for the year.

Construction cut 1,300 jobs in September, when a loss of only 300 is the normal seasonal movement. Most of the published component industries within construction showed over?the?month job losses, including residential building construction (?400 jobs) and building equipment contractors (?900). On a seasonally adjusted basis, construction employed 65,900 in September, less than 2,000 above the recessionary low point of 64,000 in February. The industry has failed to add back substantial numbers of jobs as continuing high levels of residential foreclosures have been a contributing factor to low housing starts.

Professional and business services has been on the upswing over the past three months. In September, it added 1,400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Professional and technical services accounted for most of this gain, as it added 1,200 jobs. Companies in this industry include those providing services in accounting, design, consulting, research, advertising, and veterinary.

The closely watched “employment services” industry added 800 for the month and is also up 800 since September 2009.

Leisure and hospitality cut back fewer jobs than normal at the end of summer. This was good news to those restaurant employees who were kept on staff for the month rather than being let go at the end of the peak season. Leisure and hospitality cut only 1,400 jobs in September, when a loss of 4,200 would be the normal change for the month. Over the past year, the industry is up 3,000, which is the largest gain among the major industries.

Other services added 1,100 jobs at a time of year when a loss of 300 is the normal seasonal movement. Membership associations and organizations accounted for the bulk of the new hires, as it added 800 in September.

Hours and Earnings (Establishment Survey Data)

The Oregon Employment Department also released hours and earnings data for September. These figures track the average workweek and average hourly earnings for production workers and all employees in selected industries.

The average workweek for Oregon’s manufacturing production workers edged up to 39.2 in September from 39.1 in August. This series has generally been on a rising trend since reaching a trough of 35.5 hours per week in March 2009. Recent gains indicated that the average manufacturing workweek has returned to normal, following the effects of the recession.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings of all employees in the private sector ticked up slightly to $21.51 in September, from $21.47 in August. This measure of wages has generally been on an increasing trend over the past four years, since the series began in 2007. It is up 4.4 percent since September 2007, when the comparable figure was $20.60 per hour.

Unemployment (Household Survey Data)

In September, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, the same as in August. The rate one year ago was 11.0 percent in September 2009.

In September, 196,303 Oregonians were unemployed, the fewest since December 2008, when 173,388 were unemployed. Much of the reason for the drop below 200,000 was that September typically marks the low point for the year in terms of the number of unemployed (not seasonally adjusted). Many industries, such as construction, business services, and education, hit their high point for seasonal employment near this time of year.

Full report here

  
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