Job losses across the High Desert have been largely consistent with the typical seasonal pattern for the fall resulting in no significant changes to the broad employment situation.
Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose modestly to 6.5 percent in October from 6.3 percent in September. The unemployment rate is essentially unchanged from this time last year.
Crook County shed 120 jobs in October, slightly more than the expected loss of 90 jobs this time of year.
Recent revisions revealed slower job growth than initially estimated. Crook County only gained 70 jobs from last October (+1.2%). Job gains were concentrated in professional and business services, which added 60 jobs over the past year, an impressive growth of 21 percent. There was also strong growth from leisure and hospitality and retail trade. Job losses were largely concentrated in the public sector.
Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The unemployment rate remained little changed in October at 4.2 percent. The rate was 4.7 percent in October 2016, not a statistically significant improvement over the past year. The labor force grew rapidly over the past year (+4.7%), which may help ease the local labor shortage.
Deschutes County posted a loss of 440 jobs in October, significantly fewer jobs lost than typically expected this time of year. However, many of the seasonal losses likely occurred in September when we saw larger than expected declines.
Total nonfarm employment expanded by 3.6 percent over the past year (+2,880 jobs). The pace of growth slowed significantly over the past year with job growth more consistent with other metro areas in the state. Job gains continue to be diverse with the largest gains in professional and business services, construction, and health services. Job losses were largely isolated to leisure and hospitality.
Jefferson County: The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6 percent in October. The rate is down from last when it was 6.4 percent; however this is not a statistically significant decline.
Jefferson County shed 20 jobs in October, significantly fewer losses than typically expected this time of year.
Employment levels are up by 160 jobs from this time last year (+2.5%), fairly consistent with statewide growth over the past year of 2.4 percent. Job gains continue to be concentrated in manufacturing with modest gains in leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities. Job losses are largely concentrated in Indian tribal government.