A rare thing happened to Oregon's workforce last month. It shrank by about 5,300 workers, the first decline in three years.
Oregon has climbed out of the great recession, steadily adding jobs in the past six years. The state gained nearly 50,000 jobs in the past 12 months. So what happened in September caught state economists off guard.
Beleiciks: "It's a little too early to tell if the job losses in September were just a blip in the recovery, or if it’s a signal of slower growth through the rest of the year. But the decline in September was a sharp departure from the months of solid job growth that we had been seeing."
That's Oregon's State Employment Economist, Nick Beleiciks. The four industries with the largest job losses last month include construction, retail, hospitality and professional and business services. Two sectors that expanded in September were government, including education, as well as health care and social assistance. Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September is 6.2%, up slightly from August. The national rate is 5.1%.