Most Oregonians Out of the Labor Force Do Not Want a Job

by Karla Castillo

August 1, 2017

Despite low unemployment rates and rapid job growth, the U.S. labor market continues to be criticized due to the increase in the number of people out of the labor force. The number of people out of the labor force has grown around 22 percent from 2006 to 2017. However, most people out of the labor force do not want a job, and the share of individuals that do want a job is near a historical low. Oregon’s labor market has followed a similar trend and this share is now below the national estimates.

In May 2017, there were 1.2 million people in Oregon who were not in the labor force. Just 5.8 percent of them reported that they want a job. The number of people who weren’t in the labor force but still wanted a job increased in the years following the Great Recession. But the labor market in Oregon has fully recovered and the number is now below what it was before the recession.
The data comes from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of households conducted by the Bureau of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It provides a comprehensive labor force statistics, including data about persons not in the labor force.

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