A key economic report shows that Oregon’s leisure and hospitality sector is helping to restore major job gains across the state.
The Oregon Department of Employment reports that nonfarm payroll employment rose 6,200 in May, following average job gains of 6,000 in the previous six months.
Monthly gains in May were strongest in leisure and hospitality (+3,200 jobs); transportation, storage and utilities (+1,300); wholesale trade (+900); and manufacturing (+800). Construction (-1,100 jobs) is the only major industry that lost a significant number of jobs.
Over the past 12 months, non-farm payrolls have increased by 82,700 jobs, or 4.4%. Leisure and hospitality accounted for more than a third of these gains, up 29,400 jobs, or 17.2%. Private educational services increased by 3,000 jobs, or 9.3%, the second fastest growth rate of the major industries. Several industries have grown by almost 5% since May 2021, including construction; wholesale trade; professional and business services; and manufacturing. None of the major industries suffered substantial declines over the past 12 months.
Growth in durable goods manufacturing accelerated as the industry added 8,800 jobs, or 6.9%, over the past 12 months. All of its component industries added jobs during this period. Computer and electronic products (+4,200 jobs, or 11.2%) added the bulk of jobs in durable goods manufacturing. Primary metal manufacturing (+800 jobs, or 12.3%) saw the fastest growth, while three other component industries each added nearly 1,100 jobs: machinery, fabricated metals and wood products .
Employment participation rate on the rise
In May, the voter turnout rose to 63.5%, its highest level in 10 years. This measure of the number of people working or looking for work has grown rapidly since hitting a low of 59.2% in April 2020 during the height of the COVID recession. Oregon’s labor force participation rate of 63.5% in May was well above the comparable US figure of 62.3%.
Oregon’s unemployment rate edged down to 3.6% in May from 3.7% in April, hitting its lowest level in more than two years. The rate is close to Oregon’s record low of 3.4%, which occurred in each of the four months from November 2019 to February 2020. The unemployment rate in the United States was 3.6% in April and May 2022.