State job shock – first decline in three years

Oregon’s Employment Declines in September
By Oregon Employment Department,

Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 5,300 jobs in September, the first monthly job decline in 36 months. Despite the job loss in September, Oregon has still added 49,500 jobs over the past year. That’s still a strong growth rate (2.9%) over the year, and faster than job expansion nationwide (2.1%), but slower than the 3.5 percent year-to-year job growth rate seen through August.

The decline in September was spread across eight out of 14 broad industry groups. Four industries posted job losses greater than 1,000 jobs over the month: construction (-1,800); retail trade (-1,600);  leisure and hospitality (-1,600); and professional and business services (-1,300). These industries have either been bouncing up and down in terms of job growth in recent months, or on a long-term growth path. So, September’s declines can be viewed in the context of stronger payroll growth this year.

“September’s losses were a sharp departure from months of rapid job growth in Oregon,” said State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks, “but it’s too early to tell if the losses are just a blip in the recovery, or a signal of slower growth this autumn.”

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 6.2 percent in September, compared with 6.1 percent in August. The rate was 6.9 percent in September 2014.

These preliminary estimates of jobs and other labor force data are produced in cooperation with the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, are based on surveys of businesses and households, and are subject to later revision.

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