In December, 175,830 Oregonians were unemployed. This is 29,152 fewer individuals than in December 2010 when 204,982 Oregonians were unemployed.
Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment gained 2,400 in December, following a revised loss of 1,100 in November. December job gains were led by leisure and hospitality (+2,700 jobs) and government (+1,700). Gains were offset by losses in educational and health services (-2,200 jobs).
At 1,626,300 in December, Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment was relatively flat for most of the past 10 months. Since February, it stayed between 1,621,700 and 1,626,300, which is a range of only 4,600 jobs, or 0.3 percent.
Leisure and hospitality added 500 jobs in December, when a loss of 2,200 is the normal seasonal pattern. This industry spiked downward sharply in October and November, but rebounded in December. Accommodation and food services grew rapidly over the past year, adding 7,300 jobs since December 2010, a gain of 5.3 percent.
Government cut 3,400 jobs in December, when a loss of 5,100 would have been the normal seasonal pattern. Local government cut 2,400 for the month, when a larger loss would have been normal. Local government education dropped 2,000, and is down 3,800 since December 2010.
Private educational and health services cut 2,100 jobs, when a gain of 100 is the norm for December. The industry returned from a one-month spike upward in the prior month. Over the longer term, private educational and health services trended upward rapidly and consistently, gaining 9,100 jobs, or 3.9 percent, since December 2010.
Construction performed above the normal seasonal pattern, but from a low base. It cut 2,300 jobs in December, when a loss of 2,900 was expected due to seasonality. On a seasonally adjusted basis, construction bottomed in late 2010 at about 67,000 jobs. Since then, the industry gradually inched ahead to employ 70,800 by December. This was the industry's highest seasonally adjusted headcount since employing 71,000 in September 2009. These recent job gains are partially reflected in a slight upturn in Oregon residential building permits, which were up about 8 percent for January through November 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.