Oregon Labor Market Rebounds From Pandemic as Jobs Surge in July and August Wipes Out COVID Losses – Willamette Week

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Jobs

Mortgage rates are high. Inflation is higher. Supply chains are still broken. The shelves at some markets still look a little bit Soviet, with blanks spaces where cereal and toilet paper should be. There is talk of recession.But, on the bright side, all the jobs that Oregon lost during the pandemic are back.That’s according to monthly jobs report from the the Oregon Employment Department. Last week, the department said Oregon added 9,300 nonfarm jobs in August, following an upwardly revised jump of 13,000 jobs in July. Those gains pushed Oregon employment to a record 1,974,700, eclipsing the old high set in February 2020 by 2,500.August’s biggest gains were in government (up 3,800 jobs), leisure and hospitality (up 1,900), construction (up 1,400), professional and business services (up 1,000), and manufacturing (up 900). Other services (down 800 jobs) and financial activities (down 700) were the only major industries that shed more than 500 jobs, the department said.Confusingly, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% in August from 3.5% in July, the Employment Department said. But that often happens when more job-seekers enter the market, attracted by brightening prospects for work.“Oregon’s labor market still looks pretty strong,” employment economist Gail Krumenauer said on a video briefing. The state’s unemployment rate matched the national one, she said.Unemployment remained low even as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to cool economic activity and ease inflation. Higher rates dis …

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