Today’s Oregon jobs report for December shows mixed results in the State’s job market.  The OES’s Labor Market Information System provided the December estimates for the state this morning and will provide them for Oregon’s counties on Friday morning. 

The State’s Year-over-year job losses are improving a bit, from a loss of about five percent in November to a loss of 4.3 percent in December.  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose about three tenths of a percent, from 10.7 percent to 11.0 percent.  The seasonally-adjusted non-farm job growth rate was actually up 0.2 percent in December, the first increase month-on-month in four months and one of only two cases of an increase during all of 2009. 

As with other areas that we cover, the year-on-year declines are in all sectors except (private) Education and Healthcare where this is being driven mainly by Healthcare.  For a variety of reasons, including overall population aging and inelasticity of demand, Healthcare has been somewhat resistant to the gale-force winds of this Great Recession.  The hardest-hit sectors in December were: Construction, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Financial & Real Estate, Professional & Business, and Leisure & Hospitality.

We interpret the Oregon December jobs report as indicating the State is still “Bumping Along the Bottom”.  If the improvements in job growth continue then the status might change to “Recovery”.  Given the intrinsic volatility of monthly data, we will wait until a couple more months of data to verify that.