Seasonally adjusted total non-farm employment remains 5.8% below February 2020 levels, down 2,530 jobs after heavy layoffs in spring 2020. Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 290 (9.0%) over the past year, but still down 890 jobs (-20.3%) from its pre-recession level in February 2020.
Overall, the private sector shed 230 jobs during the month. Private education and health services lost 150 jobs, down 2.2%. Employment in trade, transport and utilities fell by 50, a loss of 0.2%. The public sector created 1,740 jobs.
The local government education, which includes both local school districts and Oregon State University, added 1,720 jobs in September. Federal government employment decreased by 10 jobs, while state government employment increased by 10.
Oregon state’s unemployment rate in September was 4.7%, down from its revised August rate of 5%. Most regions still have room to recover from pandemic job losses; Oregon recovered 72% of the jobs lost in March and April 2020.
The biggest job increases since September 2020 have been in the Willamette Valley (5%). Southern Oregon (2.9%), central Oregon (2.9%) and the coast (2.8%) also experienced large employment increases over the year. The Portland 5 and Eastern Oregon regions added 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively.
Oregon’s healthcare and social assistance providers are hiring at an unprecedented rate. With approximately 15,000 health care job openings, there is an urgent statewide need to fill the health care and other positions that support the health care industry, such as the catering, facilities and business administration.