Oregon sees lowest unemployment rate since June 2007
PORTLAND — The last time Oregon's unemployment rate was this low Apple had just released its first iPhone and the Portland Trail Blazers selected Greg Oden with the first overall pick in the NBA draft.
The state Employment Department said Tuesday that Oregon's unemployment rate for January fell to 5.1 percent, a level the state has not seen since June 2007.
Oregon's payroll report surged by nearly 10,000 jobs in January, the agency said, with four major industries leading the way: construction, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.
Since January 2015, when the jobless rate was 5.9 percent, payroll employment has risen by almost 60,000 jobs.
"Oregon's labor market is as good as it was during previous expansions," said Nick Beleiciks, state employment economist. "The unemployment rate is now lower than it was in most of the mid-2000s and nearly as low as in the mid-1990s. Oregon is adding jobs at a faster rate than during the mid-2000s, and the number of jobs added over the last year is on par with growth during the mid-1990s."
The state's jobless rate has been steadily declining since reaching a peak of nearly 12 percent in the spring of 2009, a time when it was reeling from the recession. Another month of strong job growth could push the rate to below 5 percent, a mark Oregon has not seen this century.
Another unemployment measure, known as U-6, sat at 10.3 percent in January — down from 12.4 percent a year ago. The figure includes discouraged workers who stopped looking as well as part-time workers who want but can't get full-time jobs.
— Associated Press