Salem-area unemployment rate continues steady rise in December

The Salem area’s unemployment rate in December 2022 rose to 4.5%, according to recent state data.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which doesn’t include impacts from seasonal patterns, has steadily increased since July 2022, when the rate was 3.5%. The rate was 4.3% in November, according to early Oregon Employment Department data, which includes all of Marion and Polk counties.

While on the rise, Salem’s unemployment rate is still low by historical standards. Patrick O’Connor, the department’s regional economist, told Salem Reporter last month that a sustained unemployment rate below 4.5% is historically rare for Salem.

(Oregon Employment Department data)

The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed people in the Salem area was around 9,570 in December, 424 more than in November, and has been increasing from around 7,400 in June 2022, state data showed.

In December 2021, around 9,030 Salem-area residents were unemployed.

Without seasonal adjustment, the unemployment rate also grew from 4.3% in November to 4.5% in December.

The number of unemployed people – not seasonally adjusted – grew from around 9,070 in November to 9,425 in December, according to state data.

Statewide, Oregon added 6,100 nonfarm jobs in December, mostly in manufacturing – with 2,400 jobs – followed by construction and professional and business services with over 1,000 jobs each. The largest decline was in “other services” – such as repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and religious organizations – which cut 500 jobs, according to a January news release.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.