SALEM — Oregon’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9% in October, down a full point from September’s rate of 7.9%, according to a press release from the Oregon Employment Department.
The statewide unemployment rate closely mirrored the national unemployment rate, which fell from 7.9% to 6.9% from September to October, the state employment department reported.
Oregon added 14,200 jobs during October. Most of those employment gains were in construction, which added a seasonally adjusted 6,100 jobs and has seen strong employment growth over the past year. The professional services and hospitality industries each added 4,300 jobs.
Health care and social assistance also saw solid growth, as the Employment Department reported a gain of 3,700 jobs.
The unemployment rate in Northeast Oregon counties also has been trending down, according to the department’s most recent data for the region.
Unemployment in Union County fell to 6.9% for September from 7.6% in August. Baker County’s unemployment rate in that span dropped from 8.1% to 7.6%, and Wallowa County edged down from 7.9% to 7.7%.
In the release, the state employment department also noted the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the hospitality industry hard and job gains in the industry have slowed in the past four months. During the past year, employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector of hospitality and leisure have dropped 49%.
Job losses in October were most severe in government, where a decline of 7,400 jobs was reported. The Employment Department report stated a loss of 21,200 local government jobs in education, from grade school to college, a 15% drop, since October 2019.