Employment in Central Oregon: January 2018

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Original estimates from 2017 showed that the pace of job growth in Deschutes County was beginning to slow. This slowdown was confirmed by recent revisions using payroll tax records. However, the region is still adding jobs at a fast pace with a particularly large jump in Deschutes County’s seasonally adjusted employment for January. Growth is not limited to our metro areas as Jefferson County posted some of the fastest rates of job growth amongst Oregon’s non-metro counties.
Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in January at 6.2 percent. The unemployment rate is down from 6.6 percent in January 2017, but this does not represent a statistically significant decline. The labor force grew by around 2 percent (+186 individuals) over the past year.
Crook County shed 140 jobs in January, fairly typical losses this time of year.
Total nonfarm employment is little changed over the past year with local businesses only adding around 40 jobs (+0.7%). Employment gains were largely concentrated in leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and information, which includes the data centers in Prineville. However, the impact of these gains were muted by losses over the past year in manufacturing and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.
Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent in January. The rate is little changed from this time last year when it was 4.6 percent. Although unemployment levels remain little changed over the past year we have seen very strong growth in the labor force, which grew by 5 percent in the past year.
Deschutes County shed 880 jobs in January, significantly fewer job losses than typically expected this time of year. The county typically loses closer to 1,480 jobs in January.
Recent revisions confirmed that the pace of job growth in Deschutes County last year began to slow down. However, January employment levels are up 4.9 percent from this time last year (+3,760 jobs). In 2017 over-the-year job growth was closer to 3.5 percent. Construction added more jobs over the past year than any other industry sector (+920) and it posted the fastest rate of growth (+16.5%). There were also notable job gains in manufacturing; professional and business services; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; and health care. In fact, no major industry sector lost jobs in the past 12 months.
Jefferson County: The unemploy-ment rate bumped up to 5.6 percent in January from 5.3 percent in December. The rate is largely unchanged from this time last year when it was 6.0 percent, not a statistically significant decline. The labor force grew by 4.3 percent in the past year, adding 413 individuals.
Jefferson County shed 110 jobs in January, fewer losses than typically expected this time of year. Typically Jefferson County would expect to lose more than 150 jobs in January.
Employment levels are up 3.5 percent (+210 jobs) compared with this time last year, slightly slower growth than initially estimated. Manufacturing continues to lead job growth in Jefferson County (+90 jobs); however, the original estimates overstated those gains. There were job gains in nearly every private industry sector over the past year with notable growth in leisure and hospitality.
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