U.S. unemployment lowest since 1969, looks good here too


Jobs Growth Graph August 2018   The Department of Labor released its September data today, and the national unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent. 
   Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing. 
   Locally, Washington County's unemployment rate dropped to 3.1 percent in August, which is a drop of 0.5 percentage from a year ago. 
   Washington County employers added 4,700 jobs over the course of that 12 month period. 
   Comparatively, Clackamas County's unemployment rate for August was 3.4 percent (2,700 jobs added in a year), and Multnomah County was 3.3 percent (8,600 jobs added in a year). 
   A Bloomberg opinion piece cautions looking at unemployment alone and suggests looking at underemployment as another factor in the economy, as many people work part time jobs, when they'd like full time work. 
   Economist Josh Lehner with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis said today, "Overall personal income in the state is up 4.7 percent over the past year, and up 4.4 percent over the past quarter (on an annual basis)." 
   Lehner does say the rate of income growth is above average, but it is not growing at the peak rates it was a few years ago.