SALEM, OR -- In January, Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nine years. State economist Nick Beleiciks says job growth has been really strong. "Oregon's labor market is off to a great start in 2016. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.1% in January; that's down from 5.5% in December of last year."
Beleiciks adds, "Oregon's payroll employment surged by 9,900 jobs in January. There are four major industries adding around 2,000 jobs each: professional and business services, construction, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing all saw a lot of job growth." The last time the state's unemployment rate was this low was June 2007.
A year ago, unemployment was at 5.9%. Beleiciks says, "Over the last 12 months, Oregon's job growth rate was 3.4%. That translates into 59,600 jobs added since January of 2015." Oregon's unemployment is now lower than it was in most of the mid-2000s and nearly as low as in the mid-1990s.