Oregon adds 20k jobs in March; unemployment now at 6%

Oregon

National avergae drops from 6.2% to 6%

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in March, falling from 6.1% to 6.0%, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

The change was attributed to 20,1000 jobs being added last month–two-thirds of the job gains coming in the leisure and hospitality industry. Manufacturing accounted for about 10% of the new jobs as well, according to OED.

“The 20,100 total nonfarm jobs added in March was Oregon’s largest monthly gain since 38,300 jobs were added in July,” OED said in a release Tuesday. “March’s gain was the third monthly increase, following a large drop in December that was the result of temporary, heightened restrictions at the time.”

Employment gyrations in leisure and hospitality have accounted for a large share of the swings in Oregon’s total employment for the past year, according to OED. The industry–which includes restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hotels, golf courses, and fitness centers–employed a peak of 216,300 jobs in February 2020 — roughly 11% of total nonfarm payroll employment. By April 2020, more than half of those jobs were cut. The industry recovered about half the drop by November, but renewed COVID restrictions in later the winter forced the industry to eliminate 136,800 jobs.

Since December, the industry added 25,900 jobs and is close to its recent high point from last November, but is still far below its February 2020 peak, according to OED.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 6.0% in March, from 6.2% in February.

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