Jobless Rate Improving

Over the past two months, employers added back nearly one-third of the jobs that were cut in March and April.

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Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.2 percent in June from 14.3 percent, as revised, in May, according to the latest report from the Oregon Employment Department.

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 56,600 jobs in June, following a gain of 26,100 jobs in May. Over the past two months, employers added back nearly one-third of the jobs that were cut in March and April.

Over-the-month job gains in June were largest in leisure and hospitality (+31,400 jobs); retail trade(+6,800); health care and social assistance (+6,200); and other services (+5,700). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in June.

Several major industries have regained around half the jobs they lost in March and April. Leisure and hospitality added a total of 47,600 jobs in May and June, which was 39 percent of the 121,500 jobs the industry cut during March and April. Health care and social assistance added 15,700 jobs in May and June, recovering 59 percent of the 26,800 jobs it lost the prior two months.

Similarly, retail trade bounced back by 11,500 jobs, or 49 percent, in the past two months, from the 23,300 jobs it shed in March and April.

However, many of the larger industries haven’t seen a substantial rebound in the past two months, including professional and business services, which cut 20,200 jobs in March and April, but has only regained 1,900 jobs during May and June. Fairing even worse were the several industries that have shown no net jobs recovery over the past two months.

Manufacturing employed 181,000 in June, which was 2,400 jobs below its April total. Also in the past two months, government cut 9,100 jobs between April and June, during which time management of companies and enterprises cut 1,000 jobs and information cut 600 jobs.

In June, Oregon’s 11.2 unemployment rate was very close to the U.S. unemployment rate; the U.S. rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June from 13.3 percent in May.

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