Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in October, its low point for the year. The rate was 7.8 percent in September and 8.1 percent in August.
Oregon cut 500 jobs in October, after adding 3,300 in September and 5,600 in August.
Taking the last few months as a whole, the latest labor market numbers reflect a gradually accelerating pace of economic expansion in Oregon, with overall modest employment gains during the most recent 12 months. Since October 2012, seasonally adjusted payroll employment is up 30,700 jobs or 1.9 percent. The private sector grew fairly rapidly, expanding 33,300 jobs or 2.5 percent. This gain was offset by a decline in government of 2,600 jobs, or -0.9 percent.
Over-the-year gains were strongest in construction and in two major industries that each grew by 3.6 percent: professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Financial activities was the only major private-sector industry to lose jobs in the past 12 months.
Construction stands out as an engine of economic growth this year. Gains in construction and residential investment have been boosting national gross domestic product in recent quarters and the job gains in Oregon have provided a boost to Oregon's economy through increased construction wages as well as the other direct and indirect links that result from increased construction activity.
Oregon's seasonally adjusted employment in construction grew by 2,100 in September and then added an additional 800 jobs in October. This measure of employment stood at 76,400 in October, which was a substantial gain from the post-recession low of 67,200 during several months of 2010. Recent job gains in construction are evidence of a pickup in demand for residential building. Construction employment averaged below 70,000 for each of the past three calendar years.