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Central Oregon jobless rates hold steady in June, near record low levels, Employment Dept. reports

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BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Hiring in Central Oregon was largely consistent with seasonal patterns in June, the state Employment Department reported Tuesday. Unemployment rates were unchanged from May, holding at near record low levels.

Here's the monthly report from Regional Economist Damon Runberg;

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7% in June, largely unchanged from 4.8% in May. The unemployment rate is fast approaching the record low set before the pandemic in February 2020, when it was 4.4%.

Crook County added 140 jobs in June, 40 fewer jobs than typically added this time of year. Despite marginally slower growth, employment levels in Crook County are up over 10% from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (+690 jobs).

The county added 550 jobs in the last year (+7.8%). Crook County’s rate of job growth remains the second fastest of Oregon’s 36 counties over the past year. Job gains remained concentrated in construction (+150); information (+130 jobs); and professional and business services (+80). Manufacturing added 70 jobs from last year.

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.4% in June. The difference between today’s unemployment rate and the record low level of 3.3% before the onset of the pandemic is not statistically significant.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that Deschutes County added 1,100 jobs in June. These gains were largely consistent with normal seasonal changes for this time of year. Employment levels in June 2022 exceeded February 2020 levels before the onset of the pandemic by 780 jobs (+0.9%).

Total nonfarm employment expanded by 2.6% (+2,320 jobs) from June 2021. The largest gains were in the hard hit leisure and hospitality sector, which added 900 jobs from last June. Despite the strong rebound, employment in the leisure sector remains down 4.3% (-620 jobs) from levels in June 2019. Strong gains were also seen in education and health services (+360 jobs); manufacturing (+350); and construction (+300). Job losses were largely isolated to the information sector, down 80 jobs from last year.

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.6% in June. The unemployment rate is fast approaching levels in February 2020, when it was 4.1% before the first impacts from COVID-19.

Total nonfarm employment rose by 90 jobs in June, stronger gains than normal for this time of year. Jefferson County has fully recovered from the pandemic shock with the seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment of 6,710 in June in line with the pre-pandemic peak.

Jefferson County added 260 jobs over the past year (+3.9%). Job gains were concentrated in leisure and hospitality (+90 jobs) and wood product manufacturing (+80 jobs). There were no significant industry job losses over the past year.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the July county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Aug. 23 and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for July on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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