Warning, this post and discussion is very wonky and gets down into the weeds of employment data. The takeaway is that Oregon’s employment continues to grow right along with the nation overall. In fact, based on another data series of Oregon employment, the state’s job picture actually looks better than originally thought in late 2011 and early 2012.
The Employment Department is in the process of releasing the latest QCEW data for 2012q1. Given that this data is relied on heavily for the annual employment revisions (benchmark), it is important to track both the current employment statistics – released on a monthly basis – and the QCEW – released on a quarterly basis with a lag – to gauge the health of Oregon’s employment situation. As mentioned previously and discussed in our last forecast document, there appeared to be a few important differences between the CES and QCEW data in terms of the level of employment in the state. With the release of the latest data I went ahead and updated our preliminary benchmarking process to estimate where the future revisions are likely to be headed. While the latest monthly employment data goes through June, the QCEW is only available through March and therefore this preliminary benchmark only covers the July 2011 through March 2012 time period.
A majority of the revisions are in the Nondurable Goods Manufacturing sector (+2,500 jobs, or 5.3%) and Professional and Business Services (+9 ,200 or 5.0%). For more industry information, see the slides below. Overall, Oregon’s private sector has grown right inline with, if not slightly faster than, the nation so far this economic expansion.
For a more complete look at the benchmark, including industry by industry revisions, please download the following PowerPoint.