Oregon added 7,900 jobs in the month of August, lowering the unemployment rate to 4.9% from the previous 5.2% rate in the month of July.
It was the first time the state’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% since March 2020, when the rate was 3.6%.
Government jobs saw the largest growth, with 3,500 jobs added.
Wholesale trade saw 1,400 new jobs, leisure and hospitality saw 1,200 and professional and business services gained 1,000.
Retail trade was the only major industry to see a reduction, with a loss of 1,900 jobs.
Oregon has now recovered 204,700 jobs, or 72% of the jobs lost since the economic depths of the COVID-induced recession in April 2020.
Leisure and hospitality still accounts for the bulk of unrecovered jobs in the state, sitting at 44,300 jobs behind the prior peak month of February 2020.
The industry has still gained back 60% of the jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic.
The healthcare and social assistance sector is still down 10,400 jobs, or 4%, since its pre-recession peak.
The nursing and residential care facilities sector has lost 1,300 jobs since August 2020, while ambulatory healthcare services has gained 3,100 jobs and social assistance has gained 1,100 jobs in that same time period.
Oregon’s unemployment rate has dropped below 5% at only two other periods since 1976 when comparable records began.
One of those periods was in the mid-1990’s for 14 consecutive months, when the rate dropped to 4.5%.
The other was during the 51 consecutive months which began in 2016 and ran through March 2020, and the rate dropped to a record low of 3.3% in late 2019.
Overall, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July.