Oregon's unemployment rate drops to 4.9%

This was the first time Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% since March 2020, when the rate was 3.6% according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Posted: Sep 15, 2021 7:52 AM

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in August from 5.2% in July.

This was the first time Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% since March 2020, when the rate was 3.6% according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was below 5% only two other times since 1976 when comparable records began: during 14 consecutive months in the mid-1990s when the rate dropped to as low as 4.5%, and during the 51 consecutive months during 2016 through March 2020 when the rate dropped to a record low of 3.3% in late 2019.

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 7,900 in August, following monthly gains averaging 10,300 in the prior seven months according to the Oregon Employment Department. The increases in August were the largest in the following industries:

  • government (+3,500 jobs)
  • wholesale trade (+1,400)
  • leisure and hospitality (+1,200)
  • professional and business services (+1,000).

Only one major industry cut jobs: retail trade (-1,900 jobs).

Since the low point of April 2020 caused by the pandemic, Oregon has recovered 204,700 jobs, or 72% of the jobs lost during the recession.

To file a claim or get more information about unemployment programs and benefits, visit unemployment.oregon.gov.

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