Salem-area unemployment rate up again in January

The Salem area’s unemployment rate in January rose to 4.6%, according to newly released 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 4.5% in December 2022, according to Oregon Employment Department data, which includes all of Marion and Polk counties.

Salem’s unemployment rate, while on the rise, is still low by historic standards. Patrick O’Connor, the department’s regional economist, told Salem Reporter in January 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 9,709 in January, 139 more than in December and an increase of 890 compared to January 2022.

The number of unemployed people, seasonally adjusted, has been steadily increasing from around 7,400 in June 2022, state data showed.

Without seasonal adjustment, the unemployment rate also grew from 4.5% in December to 4.9% in January.

The number of unemployed people – not seasonally adjusted – grew from around 9,425 in December to 10,421 in January, according to state data.

Statewide, Oregon added 9,900 nonfarm jobs in January. The largest additions were 2,200 jobs in health care and social assistance, 1,800 in professional and business services, and 1,400 in leisure and hospitality. The only decline was in private educational services, which cut 600 jobs, according to a Tuesday 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.