Salem’s December unemployment rate sees first increase in almost a year, preliminary data shows

Early figures show Salem’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December for the first time in nearly a year.

The city’s unemployment rate grew from 3.3% in November to 3.5% in December, according to preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The last time Salem’s unemployment rate increased was in January 2021, when it rose from 5.8% the prior month to 6.7%. That figure has declined each month since.

The number of unemployed people grew from around 7,000 in November to around 7,400 in December.

Oregon Employment Department data showed Salem’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which doesn’t include impacts from seasonal patterns, has continued its steady decline from 5.8% in May 2021 to 4% in December. The rate was 4.2% in November.

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed people in Salem has steadily fallen from 12,250 in April to 8,440 in December, according to state data. During the same month last year, 11,750 Salem residents were unemployed.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian