Oregon adds 4,200 jobs in November; unemployment rate improves to 6%

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.0% in November from 6.8%, as revised, in October, according to new data from the Oregon Employment Department.

This put Oregon’s rate below the U.S. unemployment rate which dropped to 6.7% in November from 6.9% in October.

The new numbers reflect the state’s employment situation just before going on the governor’s two-week freeze on Nov. 18th which has affected employers and tens of thousands of workers in recent weeks, said Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist with the Oregon Employment Department.

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,200 jobs in November, following a revised gain of 9,800 jobs in October.

Oregon employers added jobs in each of the past seven months, and the state has recovered 46% of the jobs cut in March and April, Krumenauer said.

Over the past five months, the rate of job growth slowed.

Monthly growth averaged 9,600 jobs in September and October, while more rapid gains averaging 17,000 per month occurred in July and August.

Over-the-month job gains in November were largest in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+3,100 jobs); professional and business services (+2,600); manufacturing (+1,700); and health care and social assistance (+1,500). Monthly losses were concentrated in construction (-2,300 jobs); government (-1,800); and retail trade (-1,100).

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities added the most jobs in November and was the only major industry to add jobs since November 2019, she said.

Online shopping is booming and the industry has hired thousands of workers to keep up with demand in warehouses and for delivery drivers.

The industry is up 7,500 jobs, or 10.3%, since November 2019.

Leisure and hospitality added 300 jobs in November, following a revised gain of 3,300 in October.

However, these gains recovered only a fraction of the 110,500 jobs cut in March and April.

The industry—which is includes restaurants, bars, motels, and arts, entertainment, and recreation employers—has been the hardest hit industry due to the pandemic.

In November, it employed 161,300 in Oregon, nearly 25% fewer than in November 2019 when it employed 214,900.

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