Central Oregon Slowly Adding Jobs


Unemployment levels across the High Desert continue to show little improvement, however all three counties added jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in October. Deschutes County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in October, while the rates in Crook County (10.1 percent) and Jefferson County (9.3 percent) remained significantly higher.The national unemployment rate was 5.8 percent and Oregon’s rate was 7 percent.

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.1 percent in October.Over the past year, the unemployment rate dropped significantly from 11.7 percent.

Total nonfarm employment fell by 70 jobs in October;less than the loss of100 jobs typically expected this time of year.

Seasonal declines continued in leisure and hospitality, construction, and government. Retail trade showed a gain of 20 jobs in preparation of the holiday shopping period.

Crook County continues to experience over-the-yearjob growth. There are 130 new jobs compared to this time last year, a growth rate of 2.3 percent. The private sector accounted for the majority of these gains, which was up 3 percent from last year. Manufacturing posted the strongest job growth, gaining 80 jobs. The majority of private industries posted job gains over the year with the exception of educational and health services (-40) and other services (-30).

Deschutes County (Bend MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment ratewas essentially unchanged in Deschutes County. The rate was 7.8 percent in Octobercompared to the revised September rate of 7.9 percent. Unemployment levels remain down significantly from the year-ago rate of 8.9 percent.

Seasonally adjusted job growth accelerated in October.The county only shed 290 jobs whenaloss of 670is the norm this time of year. Retail trade posted strong seasonal hiring (+130), while leisure and hospitality continued its typical drawdown (-850). Government added jobs in October due to strong hiring in local education (+400).

Deschutes County remains the fastest growing metropolitan area in Oregon, up 4.9 percent from this time last year (+3,260). Where are these jobs coming from? Employment growth was widespread across the private sector with the exception of financial activities (-50). The largest gains were seen in mining, logging, and construction, which added 730 jobs from last year. It was also the fastest growing industry expanding by a staggering 17.7 percent.

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.3 percent in October.The rate is down from this time last year, when it was10.2 percent (not statistically significant).

Jefferson County gained10 jobs in October when the county typically expects to shed around 60 jobs this time of year. Some seasonal declines began in October, most notably leisure and hospitality (-30). Local government posted strong gains, adding 70 jobs.

Jefferson County continues to see job growth over the year. The employment growth rate of 3 percent is outpacing the state (+2.6 percent). Manufacturing continues to lead the recovery, adding 60 jobs. Leisure and hospitality (+50) and retail trade (+40) are also up significantly from this time last year. The largest job losses were seen in construction and Indian tribal, each shedding 20 jobs

Quarterly Benchmarking: Effective with the release of October preliminary data, recent nonfarm payroll employment estimates were revised using employment counts from employer tax records. Formerly, these estimates were revised annually.

These estimates will be revised as new data from businesses becomes available. The next Central Oregon Employment Situation with preliminary data for November 2014 will be released on Monday, December 22.


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