OREGON:  Construction on the rebound

OREGON: Construction on the rebound

Oregon Adds 4,800 Jobs in May; Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 4.1 Percent Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in May. For 17 consecutive months, the rate has been at or near 4.1 percent, it’s the lowest level since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May, from 3.9 percent in April.
In May, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,800 jobs, following a revised loss of 700 jobs in April. Four major industries added at least 900 jobs in May: construction (+1,600 jobs); health care and social assistance (+1,500); professional and business services (+1,000); and leisure and hospitality (+900). Only two major industries dropped in May: wholesale trade (-800 jobs) and retail trade (-600).
Over the past 12 months, Oregon’s nonfarm employment rose by 34,600 jobs or 1.9 percent. This growth was slightly faster than the national growth rate of 1.6 percent during the same period. In Oregon, over-the-year job gains were strongest in construction (+9,600 jobs, or 9.9%); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+2,700 jobs, or 4.3%); and leisure and hospitality (+6,200 jobs, or 3.0%). Since May 2017, only two major industries cut jobs: government ( 800 jobs, or -0.3%) and information (-300 jobs, or -0.9%).
Construction added 1,600 jobs in May, reaching an all-time high of 106,400 jobs. This was the first time construction rose above its previous record high reached more than 10 years ago in August 2007 when there were 105,400 jobs in construction. Since 2007, residential building construction has had the fastest growth rate of the industries within construction; at 18,700 jobs in May, it was 19 percent above its 2007 annual average. Building equipment contractors grew 12 percent over the past 11 years and nonresidential building construction grew 8 percent. Most other industries within the construction sector are still slightly below their record highs of 2007. However, heavy and civil engineering construction—at 10,100 jobs in May—remained 18 percent below its 2007 average.