July 14, 2021 3:20 a.m.
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in June.
Information from the Oregon Employment Department said that is a drop from 5.8 percent in May.
State Employment Economist Gail Krumenauer said despite the recent declines in Oregon’s unemployment rate, a large group of the unemployed have had difficulty regaining employment. The number of Oregonians unemployed for 52 weeks or more remains elevated at about 40,000 in June, compared with an average of about 8,000 during the three years prior to the recession.
In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 7,500 in June, following monthly gains averaging 10,100 in the prior five months. The update said monthly gains were largest in heath care and social assistance which added 2,400 jobs. The “other services” category gained 1,700 jobs. Transportation, warehousing and utilities and leisure and hospitality both added 1,000 jobs. Wholesale trade went up by 800 jobs. Only one major industry shed more than 300 jobs in June. That was construction which fell by 900 jobs.
Krumenauer said leisure and hospitality accounts for the bulk of Oregon’s jobs not recovered since 2020. It employed 169,500 in June and only added 1,500 jobs in the most recent three months. The industry is still 46,800 jobs or 22 percent, below its peak month of February 2020. The category accounts for 45 percent of overall nonfarm payroll jobs yet to recover from Oregon’s pre-re-recession peak.
The update said local government employed 208,900 in June, which was 21,400 jobs below its pre-pandemic employment level of 203,300 in February 2020. With jobs still down by 9 percent, this industry has experienced the second largest percent reduction in that time, behind only leisure and hospitality.
While most major industries still employ fewer workers than in February of 2020, two industries increased their employment levels throughout the past couple of years. Transportation, warehousing and utilities added 4,400 jobs or 6 percent, since prior to the recession. State government gained 1,500 jobs, or 4 percent in that time.
To get more information about unemployment programs, go to https://unemployment.oregon.gov/