Northwest Job Numbers Mostly Reflect Regional Growth
Employment numbers are out for both Washington and Oregon. Since last September, Washington has gained more than 91,000 jobs and Oregon has gained more than 37,000 jobs.
The largest growth in both states has taken place in the government sector.
“As we have moved through the economic expansion and more people have become employed and tax revenues have increased for government, we have then greater opportunity to hire more people in different positions and kind of come back from when there were cutbacks during recessions,” Washington state labor economist Paul Turek said.
Trends in Oregon and Washington aren’t entirely identical. Jobs in leisure and hospitality grew in Washington, but fell in Oregon. The opposite is true for manufacturing jobs in the Northwest.
The unemployment rate is at 4.2 percent in Oregon and 4.6 percent in Washington. Both are on par with the national rate, which is 4.2 percent. In both states, those numbers have fallen in the last year.
Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, points to hurricanes Harvey and Irma as likely reasons for a decline in food service and industry jobs. Oregon’s Employment Department says this summer’s wildfires “did not have a noticeable impact on the September jobs report.”
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