Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 8,800 in August. The July figure was revised to show a gain of 1,200 jobs. In August, seven of the 10 major private-sector industries posted seasonally adjusted job gains of at least 600, while none showed a loss. However, government cut 400.
Construction employment rose by 2,000 in August, 600 above the gain expected due to seasonality. So far this year construction has followed its typical seasonal pattern fairly closely, not showing a consistent growth trend as seasonally adjusted employment has hovered near 70,000. This follows slow seasonally adjusted job gains throughout most of 2011. The gains in late 2011 have resulted in an increase of 1,600 jobs or 2.3 percent between August 2011 and August 2012.
Financial activities added 900 jobs in August when a loss of 300 is the normal seasonal pattern. Employment here has rebounded sharply throughout the year. In January, financial activities dropped to 90,900 jobs, which was its lowest point since early 1997. Turning the corner since then, the industry has gained 4,300 jobs to reach 95,200 in August. Record low home mortgage interest rates have spurred refinancing activity, and consequently, employment at mortgage brokers. Home prices have stabilized in some areas, while statewide residential construction permits have increased this year through July. These factors and others have buoyed the real estate industry, which has added 2,100 jobs since August 2011.
Private-sector educational and health services added 400 jobs during August, when a loss of 200 is the norm. Educational services reached what is likely to be its low point for the year at 28,300 in August. The fall school term will boost employment in September.
In August, the private health care and social assistance industry added 900 jobs and was 1,400 above its year-ago figure. For the prior months of 2012, the job counts for this industry have been uncharacteristically flat, in contrast to the rapid and steady job gains during the prior eight years. Hospitals have shown an overall pattern of job declines during the past 12 months, and were down 600 from August 2011.
Government continued its slow overall job decline seen throughout much of the past four years. Government cut 800 jobs in August, which was double the expected seasonal decline of 400 for the month of August. During the past 12 months, each of the three government sectors has cut jobs: federal government (-1,300 jobs), state government (‑300) and local government (-800).