Oregon’s employment grows but education sector sees job losses

Oregon

15% of jobs with public K-12, colleges cut due to remote learning

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Despite an overall dip in the state’s unemployment rate, the Oregon Employment Department reported large job losses in the education sector.

The agency said job cuts at all levels of education came as a result of most schools in Oregon moving to distance learning. Local government education reduced employment to 118,700 in October, marking a dip of 21,200 jobs from the previous month. The cuts represent a 15% reduction across local K-12 schools, community colleges and the Oregon University System.

The leisure and hospitality industries showed signs of continued struggling. Though there was a rebound in May and June from the initial lockdowns and restrictions, job gains have significantly slowed since then. The sector reported 54,300 fewer jobs from what it had in February (162,000), representing a drop of 25%.

Overall, the state added 14,200 jobs last month. Gains in construction and professional and business services helped bring the state’s rate down from 7.9% to 6.9%.

“Over the past four months the rate of job growth has averaged 14,400 per month, following more rapid growth in May and June, when 74,500 jobs were added,” OED said in a release Tuesday. “Oregon employers added jobs in each of the past six months, and the state has recovered 46% of the jobs cut in March and April.”

With the two-week freeze beginning Wednesday, however, the economic forecast is that the service industry will see another wave of cuts.

Oregon’s numbers virtually mirror the national rate which also saw a dip from 7.9% to 6.9% during the month of October.

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