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Oregon’s unemployment rate nears pre-pandemic low

Oregon's unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in November.
Chris Lehman
Oregon's unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in March.

Oregon’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in March. That’s down from 4% in February, and it’s the lowest it’s been since March of 2020, just before the pandemic began.

Oregon Employment Department economist Gail Krumenauer said Oregon continues to track closely with national numbers.

“Oregon’s regained about nine out of ten jobs that were lost in the pandemic recession," she said. "That’s similar to the U.S. And our unemployment rate is also tracking closely with the U.S. and nearing record lows.”

The construction and financial services fields gained the most jobs in Oregon in March. The Employment Department says that growth can be tied to the real estate market, which remains strong. The only job sector with a significant job loss in March was professional and business services.

Overall, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 5,600 jobs in March, said the Employment Department.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”