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Oregon employment data released

SALEM – The newly revised payroll employment numbers show that Oregon’s economy added jobs slowly and steadily for the past three years. In January, 182,994 Oregonians were unemployed. This was 7,707 fewer individuals than in January 2012 when 190,701 Oregonians were unemployed.

During the past three and a half years, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been gradually declining. The high was reached in May and June 2009 when Oregon’s unemployment rate was 11.6 percent.

Seasonally adjusted total non-farm payroll employment rose by 17,200 jobs, or 1.1 percent, in the 12 months ending with January 2013. Oregon’s job growth was nearly identical for the prior year, at 1.0 percent for the 12 months ending in January 2012, and 1.3 percent for the comparable period ending in January 2011.

A closer look at the January 2013 seasonally adjusted payroll employment figures shows that monthly gains of over 1,000 jobs in three major industries were only partially offset by modest losses in two major industries.

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 8.4 percent, essentially unchanged from 8.3 percent in December. The January 2012 unemployment rate was 9.0 percent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate non-farm payroll employment in Oregon rose by 4,200 jobs in January. The private sector added 5,000 jobs over the month, while the public sector declined by 800.

Revised estimates for December show a gain of 1,200 jobs, when a gain of 2,000 was initially reported. Downward revisions were largest in trade, transportation, and utilities.

At the time of this press release, the Oregon Employment Department is also releasing the annual revisions to the prior two years’ data. These revised numbers show that the jobs picture looked a little better in late 2011 and throughout 2012 than originally estimated.

For the 2011 annual average, payroll employment was revised upward by 2,100 jobs or 0.1 percent. The 2012 annual average was revised upward by 6,500 or 0.4 percent, with the largest revisions occurring in professional and business services (revised upward by 7,500 jobs or 4.0 percent), manufacturing (+3,500 or 2.1 percent), and financial activities (revised downward by 3,100 jobs or 3.3 percent).

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The national unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January and 7.8 percent in December, while Oregon’s rate was 8.4 percent in January and 8.3 percent in December.

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