Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 1,800 in December, following a revised gain of 2,800 in November. On a seasonally adjusted basis, a slight gain of 400 jobs in the private sector for December was more than offset by a drop of 2,200 jobs in government. December marked the fourth consecutive month of private-sector job gains in Oregon.
Government shed 2,200 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in December. Most of this decline was attributed to an unusual reduction in local government education related to the timing of the holiday break; this was a one-month drop, so these jobs will return in January.
Professional and business services added 1,400 jobs in December at a time of year when a loss of 500 is the normal seasonal movement. Professional and technical services added 700 jobs, while administrative and waste services added 500. Between December 2009 and December 2010, professional and business services added the most jobs of any major industry sector. It grew by 7,200 jobs, or 4.1 percent.
Leisure and hospitality cut only 200 jobs in December, which was fewer than the 1,200 expected due to seasonal factors. Arts, entertainment, and recreation bounced up by 700 and is now 200 above its year-ago figure. The industry employed 21,500 in December, which was still below its peak December figure during 2007 when 22,600 were employed.
Manufacturing posted large cuts in December, dropping 2,100 jobs during a month that typically sees little overall job change due to seasonality. Manufacturing recorded a seasonally adjusted job count of 159,700. This was its first time below 160,000 in at least 20 years. The industry had been stabilizing at close to 162,000 jobs from August 2009 through November 2010, but the December 2010 drop sent the industry 2,500 below the average level for that period.
In December, wood product manufacturing cut 300 jobs, dropping to a total of 18,900. This was the first time the industry employed fewer than 19,000 since comparable records are available starting in 1990. Each of its three component industries reached record lows in December and each have been cut by more than half since the early 1990s.
Nondurable goods shed 1,700 jobs in December, putting it close to the lowest level in recent memory.