Government Drops Jobs in July, While Construction Grows
By Oregon Employment Department 
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.6 percent in July, essentially unchanged from 10.5 percent in June. The rate has been between 10.5 and 10.7 percent for the most recent nine months. Oregon’s unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in July 2009. Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 1.1 percent above the U.S. unemployment rate in July.
The state’s civilian labor force was close to 1,984,000 in both July 2009 and July 2010. During that 12-month period, the number of unemployed dropped by 11,361, while the number of employed grew by 10,789, thus keeping the number of individuals in the labor force nearly unchanged.
In July, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 3,000, following a gain of 1,800 (as revised) in June.
Three of the major industries had large seasonally adjusted job declines in July: government ( 5,200 jobs), educational and health services (-2,600), and financial activities (-900). These losses were partially offset by notable gains in several industries: construction (+3,500 jobs), professional and business services (+700), and manufacturing (+500).
There was a substantial upward revision to the June payroll employment numbers. The originally reported seasonally adjusted totals showed a drop of 3,600 between May and June. Revised numbers show a gain of 1,800 jobs. The upward revisions were concentrated in government and professional and business services.
Government shed 32,900 jobs in July at a time of year when a loss of 27,700 is expected due to seasonality. The ending of work for 1,839 intermittent Census workers reduced both federal government and total government for July, subtracting from the 3,792 individuals who were working for the Census in June.
Local government dropped 25,500 jobs in July as local schools employed fewer workers during summer school break. Local education employment was 83,000 in July, which was 4,100 below its year-ago level.
Construction showed a strong gain in July, adding 5,200 jobs, when a gain of only 1,700 is the normal seasonal movement during this summer month. Gains were widespread with all published components adding jobs over the month.
Professional and business services added 1,900 jobs, when a gain of 1,200 is the normal seasonal pattern. Services to buildings and dwellings added 500 over the month; it took a beating during the economic downturn, but seems to be clawing back with over-the-year job losses narrowing to 700 in July.
Employment services was revised sharply higher for its June reading. The latest estimates peg June jobs at 28,600 and July at 29,700, putting July 400 above the year-ago level. The recent, tentative rebound in employment services is watched closely as a leading indicator of future overall employment patterns.