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Employment Report: Oregon adds 3,900 jobs

In World
January 19, 2024

Jan. 18—Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 3,900 jobs in December, following a revised loss of 5,900 jobs in November.

December’s gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+2,300 jobs), construction (+1,500), and retail trade (+700). Losses were largest in financial activities (-700 jobs) and wholesale trade (-600).

Health care and social assistance continued to add many jobs in December. Each of its four components grew rapidly in the most recent month and throughout last year. Social assistance added 1,200 jobs in December, adding 5,600 during 2023. Ambulatory health care services added 900 for the month and 5,600 for the year. Similarly, hospitals (+500 jobs in December) and nursing and residential care facilities (+600) continued to grow.

At 123,100 jobs in December, construction was at a record high. Residential building construction was particularly strong, adding 500 jobs in December, and 2,300 jobs in the past year.

Retail trade performed close to its normal seasonal pattern during the holiday shopping season of November and December. But retail’s employment level was a little lower in December 2023 compared with the prior two years. It employed 207,900 in December 2023, which was about 2,300 jobs fewer than in both December 2022 and December 2021.

Although leisure and hospitality gained 4,800 jobs, or 2.4%, in the past 12 months, the industry showed recent weakness by cutting 2,600 jobs between August and December.

Employment in financial activities peaked in July at 107,100 jobs but has trended downward since then, losing 3,100 jobs over the past five months. The industry now employs about the same number as it did four years ago.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 3.7% in December and 3.6% in November. December was the eighth consecutive month in which Oregon’s unemployment rate was between 3.4% and 3.7%. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7% in both November and December.

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