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Aug-12-2014 18:04printcomments

Oregon's Employment Situation Changed Little in July

Manufacturing has been on a steady expansionary trend over the past four years.

Oregon Job Numbers
Oregon payroll employment was essentially unchanged in July. Photo: File

(SALEM, Ore. ) - Oregon payroll employment was essentially unchanged in July. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment added 200 jobs, following a revised loss of 3,000 in June.

Three major industries expanded substantially in July: manufacturing (+1,600 jobs), health care and social assistance (+1,300) and other services (+1,400).

Meanwhile, two major industries contracted substantially: retail trade (-1,400 jobs) and private educational services (-1,300).

Manufacturing has been on a steady expansionary trend over the past four years. Seasonally adjusted employment in the industry bottomed at 162,500 in October 2009. Since then the industry added back 17,900 jobs, reaching a total of 180,400 in July.

Gains within durable goods manufacturing were noteworthy over the past 12 months.

Wood products grew by 1,000 jobs since July 2013, machinery added 800, and transportation equipment added 1,200. Within the nondurable goods component, food manufacturing added 1,000 during that time.

Health care and social assistance accelerated its pace of hiring in recent months. The 1,300 seasonally adjusted job gain in July was more than the average monthly gain of the past 12 months.

Since July 2013 the industry added 8,100 jobs, which equaled 3.9 percent growth and was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Oregon. All of its component industries added substantially during that time, with social assistance growing the fastest by adding 2,500 jobs to reach 31,900 in July.

Retail trade contracted for the second consecutive month, following strong gains earlier in the year. This put retail up only 2,000 jobs, or 1.0 percent, since July 2013.

Nationally, surveys suggest that overall retail store visits are down since last summer. Some retailers are reporting slower sales growth even as total consumer spending continues to expand.

In Oregon, the only published retail industry which grew by more than 1,000 jobs over the year was motor vehicle and parts dealers, which added 1,300 jobs since July 2013.


Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in July and 6.8 percent in June. Oregon's unemployment rate was between 6.8 and 6.9 percent in each month between February and July.

Despite the flat trend in recent months, the rate has fallen from a year ago when Oregon's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in July 2013.

Oregon's labor force expanded over the year, totaling 1,965,255 in July, which was nearly 22,000 more individuals than in July 2013. The growth in the labor force was roughly consistent with the growth in the population, as the seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate, at 61.2 percent in July, changed little over the year.

Hours and Earnings:

The average workweek for Oregon manufacturing production workers decreased from 40.7 hours in June to 40.0 in July. This put the manufacturing workweek back to where it was in April and May when it was also 40.0 hours. The manufacturing workweek dropped 0.3 hour since last year. In July 2013, this workweek averaged 40.3 hours.

In July, the average wage was $22.80 per hour for Oregon's private-sector payroll employees, down from $22.82 in June. Wages increased 46 cents, or 2.1 percent, from July 2013 when the average was $22.34.

Source: Oregon Employment Department

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