Oregon unemployment rate improves, nearing pre-pandemic low

By Ryan Haas (OPB)
March 22, 2022 5:47 p.m.

As Oregon moves past the two-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s overall economic picture continues to improve.

The Oregon Employment Department released its latest figures Tuesday, showing the unemployment rate in the state ticked down to 4% in February, from January’s adjusted unemployment rate of 4.2%.

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According to state officials, February’s largest job gains were in the leisure and hospitality fields, followed by construction, health care and business services. In total, Oregon added around 12,300 nonfarm payroll jobs – a standard workforce measurement – in February, the largest monthly gain since July. The Oregon Employment Department said milder weather last month allowed significant job growth in construction, particularly, as roofers and other contractors were able to complete business.

Oregon’s overall unemployment rate was still slightly above the national average of 3.8% in February. An unemployment rate of 4% is the lowest Oregon has achieved since before the pandemic.

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