Oregon Job Losses Continue

Oregon Employment Department
Published Jul-20-2009

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2 percent in June, the same as the revised May figure of 12.2 percent. Despite remaining unchanged between May and June, Oregon’s unemployment rate was up substantially from June 2008 when the rate was 5.9 percent. In June, 241,156 Oregonians were unemployed, more than double the number in June 2008.

In June, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment declined by 7,200 jobs, following a drop of 1,600 (as revised) in May. This marked the 11th consecutive month of decline for this measure of employment.

Most industries did not follow their normal seasonal pattern of change in June. Industries such as manufacturing, trade, and business services continued to mirror national trends of decline. In contrast, construction added significantly more jobs than seasonally expected.

Construction posted a gain of 3,600 jobs in June, when a gain of only 2,000 is the normal seasonal movement. This follows a flat May performance after several months of steep seasonally adjusted job losses. Seasonally adjusted employment in construction was 80,500 in June, still well below its year-ago level of 95,400.

Manufacturing added 1,000 jobs during a month where a gain of 2,900 is the normal seasonal movement. This driver of the state’s economy has been shedding jobs for nearly three years. Losses were particularly severe during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of this year.

Durable goods manufacturing again accounted for all of the manufacturing declines. Having cut 400 jobs in June, it is now down 27,500 from its year-ago figure. Durable goods dropped 39,500 jobs or 25 percent from its recent peak of 156,900 in August 2006. Nondurable goods held up much better, as it added 1,400 jobs in June and is only down 500 since June 2008.

Professional and business services added 600 jobs in June, when a gain of 1,900 is the normal seasonal change. The industry declined rapidly since the summer of 2008. It is down 16,400 jobs, or 8.3 percent, since June 2008.

Financial activities continued on its downward slide of the past two years, slipping 600 jobs when a gain of 200 is the normal seasonal expectation. The losses were confined to finance and insurance (-600 jobs). Real estate, rental, and leasing employment was unchanged from May. The financial activities sector cut 7,500 jobs, or 7.3 percent of its workforce, since June 2008.

Leisure and hospitality added 3,500 jobs in June, just above normal seasonal expectations. The industry has been building steam since February 2009. Leisure and hospitality is down 6,500 jobs, or 3.6 percent, from June 2008.

Trade, transportation, and utilities shed 500 jobs at a time of year when a gain of 1,800 would be normal. Wholesale trade reported a 1,100-job loss due to weakness among merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods. Retail trade added 800 jobs, with modest job gains reported in most of its component industries. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities backtracked from May’s gain, losing 200 jobs in June. All industries in the larger sector of trade, transportation, and utilities are down substantially over the past year.

Oregon Employment Department
Published Jul-20-2009

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