According to Damon Runberg Regional Economist Serving the East Cascades of Oregon, Oregon Employment Department after recent revisions fall hiring across the High Desert was in line with normal seasonal ebbs and flows. Unemployment levels showed their first signs of improvement in over six months. Deschutes County unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in October, the first significant monthly decline since this past winter.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 8.6 percent in October, not a statistically significant decline. The rate remains down from last year when it was 9.7 percent.
Crook County shed 120 jobs in October. Monthly losses were concentrated in industries that typically experience seasonal declines this time of year, such as leisure and hospitality and Federal Government.
An employment recovery in Crook County remains elusive with 130 fewer jobs across the county (-2.2 percent) compared to this time last year. Job losses over the past year remain concentrated in wood products manufacturing (-170 jobs). Private education and health services, as well as the tourism industry, are up from last year.
Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA):
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in October, the first significant monthly decline since this past winter. The rate was 6.6 percent in September and 7.4 percent last October.
Employment levels dipped on a seasonally adjusted basis in October. Deschutes County lost 730 jobs, which was more than the expected seasonal decline of 610 jobs. Last month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that local government education hiring was much weaker than previous school years. The BLS revised these September estimates with the release of the October employment figures. These revisions revealed thatlocal education hiring was much higher than initially estimated and more in line with thetypical school year.
Employment levels remain up significantly from this time last year, +3,650 jobs (+5.1%). All private sector industries added jobs from last October with the exception of durable goods manufacturing (-10). We continue to see particularly strong growth in the retail, leisure, health, and construction sectors.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.7 percent in October.The unemployment rate remainsdown significantly from last October (8.8 percent).
Jefferson County lost90 jobs in October, fairly close to the expected decline of 80 jobs this time of year.
Recent revisions revealed that Jefferson County’s employment growth over the past year stalled. Total nonfarm employment was up only 50 jobs (+0.8 percent). The private sector continued to see moderate job growth (+90 jobs); however government losses pulled the countywide job growth down.