SALEM, OR -- Oregon's unemployment rate his a new record low of 3.8% in March; that's the lowest since 1976 when comparable record-keeping began.
Employment Department Economist Nick Beleicicks says the low numbers are good for salaries. "Well, in a tight labor market like this, it’s a good thing for the workers who will likely see wage gains." He adds, "We've seen the average hourly wage increase faster than the rate of inflation in Oregon, since 2015."
But, he says that tight labor market isn't good for businesses with openings, "Employers are struggling to find enough workers; we hear that all the time. They tell us that two out of three of the vacancies they have are difficult to fill."
The state has added nearly 40,000 jobs over the last year, including 2,400 last month. In March, the three sectors adding the most jobs were Professional & Business Services, Government and Manufacturing.