© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Drops Below 5 Percent

<p>Business employment specialist Linda Reynolds, right, helps job searcher D'Andre Preston at WorkSource Oregon Tuesday, July 17, 2012, in Tualatin, Ore.</p>

Rick Bowmer

/

Business employment specialist Linda Reynolds, right, helps job searcher D'Andre Preston at WorkSource Oregon Tuesday, July 17, 2012, in Tualatin, Ore.

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below five percent last month – to 4.8 percent. The unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in January.

That’s the lowest it’s been in 20 years. The state’s Employment Department says the labor force is growing “rapidly” to an all-time high of more than 2 million workers.

Since 2014, Oregon’s labor force grew by about 100,000 people.

“Our job growth has been faster than the U.S.,” said Nick Beleiciks, an Oregon state employment economist. "Right now our over the year job growth is at 3.1 percent. So that’s really strong job growth for the state."

The Employment Department credits rapid job growth and more people moving to the area as reasons why the state's unemployment rate continues to improve.

“Right now it seems like the job growth is very sustainable over the short term,” he said. "Long term, all sorts of other factors can start affecting Oregon’s economy and we don’t know what will happen. But right now, there doesn’t seem to be too many troubling signs."

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Conrad Wilson is a reporter and producer covering criminal justice and legal affairs for OPB.