From the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012, the number of jobs increased by 3,962, or 0.2 percent, to a total of 1,671,603 jobs covered under unemployment insurance.
Total wages earned from these jobs increased by roughly $1 billion, or 6.8 percent. Though both the total number of jobs and wages increased over the year, the growth varies slightly by industry.
State and local government lost the largest number of jobs from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012, while the financial activities sector lost the largest percentage of jobs. Educational and health services lost 589 jobs, which is the first year-over-year job loss since the fourth quarter of 2005.
When looking at the net growth in workers rather than jobs, as a worker can hold multiple jobs, the growth is more concentrated in those individuals working two or more jobs. A total of 1,581,806 people were working jobs covered by Oregon's unemployment insurance system in the first quarter of 2012. This is an increase of roughly 2,800, or 0.2 percent, from the first quarter of 2011. The number of people working two or more jobs comprised a majority of this increase as 1,776 more individuals were working multiple jobs.
The financial activities sector had the largest percentage increase in the median hourly wage at 3.6 percent (Graph 2). The information sector, which had the highest median wage at $26.17, was the only industry that had a decrease in the median wage over the year.