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Oregon Is Adding Jobs, Experiencing A Tight Labor Market


Oregon saw its largest job gains in June 2017 since February 2016.

State employment economist Nick Beleiciks said employers are hiring in a variety of sectors.

“Oregon’s adding a lot of jobs really fast,” Beleiciks said. “We added 8,500 jobs in June, and it was seen across a lot of different types of industries.”

Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs. The construction and manufacturing industries came next. The only major industry to cut jobs was financial activities.

Oregon’s unemployment rate did not change much between May and June. The June rate of 3.7 percent remains near the all-time low reached in May — 3.6 percent. A year ago, Oregon’s jobless rate was just over five percent.

Oregon employment rate, seasonally adjusted

Oregon employment rate, seasonally adjusted

Courtesy of Oregon Employment Department  

The state employment department notes other signs of a tight labor market. Those include fewer long-term unemployed workers.

Beleiciks, with the Oregon Employment Department, says all this hiring is good for workers but can actually pose problems for companies.

“One of the concerns is — with the labor market being so tight and the unemployment rate being near record lows — that employers are having a tough time finding enough workers to fill all these jobs.” 

The number of Oregonians who’ve been jobless for more than six months dropped to around 10,000 in June. After the recession, in 2010, that number was more than 100,000.

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