PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s unemployment rate has dropped from 4.2% in November to 4.1% in December, marking the 20th consecutive month of unemployment declines, according to the Oregon Employment Department (OED).

Though Oregon has seen pre-pandemic employment rates over the past 4 months, the state still lags slightly behind the national average, as the U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 4.2% in November to 3.9% in December.

Excluding farm labor, OED reported Oregon’s overall employment rose by 8,200 in December, after the state gained 9,200 jobs in November.

According to OED, Oregon gained an average of 8,900 jobs per month throughout 2021.

OED data showed the largest employment increases in December were within the hospitality and leisure industry, which reportedly gained 2,600 jobs. 

Oregon Unemployment Rate, Seasonally Adjusted (Courtesy OED)

“Despite these gains, leisure and hospitality still accounts for a large share of Oregon’s jobs not recovered since early 2020, with 23,200 jobs left to recover to reach the prior peak month of February 2020.” OED stated in a recent press release. “The industry has regained 79% of jobs lost early in the pandemic.”

Jobs within the health care and social assistance field were reported to be up by 1,200 last month, and both the manufacturing and business service industries saw an increase of about 900 jobs. 

According to the monthly report, jobs within the administrative and waste service industries have remained at a steady gain of about 1,400 jobs per month. 

While OED reported temp jobs to be in high demand, with employment services up 9,500 new jobs and 25% growth for 2021, business support services reportedly saw a continued employment decline, with only 9,900 jobs reported in December of 2021 compared to 16,000 jobs reported in December of 2015.