Little Change in Employment Situation for February

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There was little change in the February seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in Central Oregon. Deschutes (10.5 percent) and Crook (13.4 percent) Counties saw no change in their seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from January, while Jefferson County (12.0 percent) only saw a small reduction from its earlier rate of 12.1 percent. The statewide unemployment rate (8.4 percent) has seen no change over the past couple months, however the national rate edged down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January.

Crook County: Crook County’s February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 13.4 percent was unchanged from the revised rate in January. The unemployment rate did see slight improvement from the year-ago rate of 13.8 percent in February 2012.

The county dropped 20 jobs in February, when the county would typically expect no employment change.

Overall, there was very little change in total nonfarm employment over the month. Both the private and public sector lost 10 jobs from January. The largest losses were seen in trade, transportation, and utilizes (-20), however no other industry saw a loss of more than 10 jobs. Educational and Health Services; wood product manufacturing; leisure and hospitality; and local government each gained 10 jobs over the month.

Employment declined by 10 jobs in Crook County between February 2012 and February 2013. The private sector saw no employment change year-over-year, while the public sector lost 10 jobs from the year ago level. Wholesale trade (-50) saw the largest loss of jobs from February 2012. Year-over-year gains were seen in educational and health services (+30); leisure and hospitality (+30); professional and business services (+20); and wood products manufacturing (+20).

Deschutes County (Bend MSA): The February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (10.5 percent) showed no change from the rate in January, however the rate has dropped from the year-ago-rate of 11.3 percent in February 2012.

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the Bend metropolitan area show an increase of 200 jobs in February. A larger gain than the increase of 90 jobs that is the seasonal norm during this time of year.

BLS analysts estimate that private-sector employment declined by 20 jobs in February, while government gained 220 jobs. Between February 2012 and February 2013, estimates show that employment rose by 1,410 jobs, with a gain of 1,450 private-sector jobs and public-sector employment down by 40 jobs. The largest year-over-year increases were seen in accommodation and food services (+780); educational and health services (+470); mining, logging, and construction (+350); and retail trade (+340). The only private industry that saw major job losses year-over-year was financial activities, which lost 170 jobs from February of 2012.

These preliminary estimates are subject to revision as more information becomes available from employers.

For many years, monthly employment estimates for Oregon and its metropolitan areas were developed by Oregon Employment Department economists. These economists were also responsible for revising the initial sample-based estimates annually, based on more complete information from Oregon businesses. This revisions process is known as benchmarking.

In March 2011, responsibility for the monthly employment estimates for Oregon and its metropolitan areas shifted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The estimates developed by BLS are more heavily dependent on the sample of businesses and less reliant on knowledge of local economic events. They are also likely to demonstrate increased month-to-month variability.

BLS staff has also taken over responsibility for the annual benchmarking process. The results of this process are reflected in the revised data for 2010 and 2011 that were released in February and March 2012.

Comments or questions should be directed to Graham Slater, Administrator of the Oregon Employment Department’s Workforce and Economic Research Division, at (503) 947-1212.

Jefferson County:  The February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Jefferson County was 12.0 percent, which was essentially unchanged from January (12.1 percent). The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate did experience some modest improvement from the year-ago rate of 12.6 percent in February 2012.

Jefferson County saw no change in total nonfarm employment in February, when a gain of 40 jobs would typically be expected. The private sector lost 10 jobs over the month with a gain of 10 jobs in government employment. Manufacturing and retail trade each lost 10 jobs; whereas leisure and hospitality and local government each gained 10 jobs.

Jefferson County added 20 jobs between February 2012 and February 2013. The private sector gained 120 jobs over-the-year, while the public sector saw a reduction of 100 jobs. The largest over-the-year job gains were seen in manufacturing (+50); leisure and hospitality (+40); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+30); and professional business services (+20). The largest losses occurred in local government (-110) with modest year-over-year reduction in retail trade (-10); financial activities (-10); and construction (-10). 


These estimates will be revised as new data from businesses becomes available. The next Central Oregon Employment Situation with preliminary data for March 2013 will be released on Tuesday, April 23rd.

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