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Central Oregon jobless rates hold fairly steady in July, after falling in recent months


SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- After several months of declines, seasonally adjusted unemployment rates across Central Oregon saw little to no change in July, with marginal decreases in Deschutes and Jefferson counties, the Oregon Employment Department reported Tuesday.

Here's the full report:

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate saw no change over the month of July and remains 5.3%—in July of last year, it was 5.5%. The unemployment rate remains 0.8 percentage point above the record low set before the pandemic, when it was 4.5%.

Crook County shed 60 nonfarm jobs in July, typical losses for this time of year. Total nonfarm seasonally adjusted employment has been declining since January after peaking in December of 2022. In light of this continued contraction, employment levels in Crook County are now 7.6% above pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (+510 jobs).

The county lost 180 jobs in the last year (-2.4%), marking the first time this year that Crook County registered a negative year-over-year growth rate, and the slowest growth rate in Oregon. Job gains were concentrated in private education and health services (+70 jobs), retail trade (+50 jobs), and government (+20 jobs). Job losses were concentrated in construction (-200 jobs), leisure and hospitality (-100 jobs), and professional and business services (-70 jobs).

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly to 3.7% in July, down from 3.8% in June. The unemployment rate in July remains 0.3 percentage point above its record low of 3.4% before the onset of the pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that Deschutes County shed 1,380 jobs (-1.5%) in July, dropping to 92,550. Job losses are typical this time of year due to local schools going on summer break; however, these losses exceeded normal seasonal expectations. Despite these seasonally adjusted job losses in July, employment levels remain around 3,450 jobs (+3.9%) above February 2020 levels, before the onset of the pandemic.     

Total nonfarm employment expanded by 0.8% (+780 jobs) from July 2022. Private education and health services led private industry growth with an over-the-year gain of 580 jobs (+3.8%). Other notable gains were in government (+750 jobs); other services (+140 jobs); accommodation and food services (+130 jobs); and mining, logging, and construction (+100 jobs). Over-the-year losses occurred primarily in financial activities (-310 jobs) and retail trade (-300 jobs).

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased over the month of July to 4.5%, down from 4.6% in June. The unemployment rate was 4.4% from October 2019 to December 2019, shortly before the first impacts from COVID-19.

Total nonfarm employment declined by 230 in July (-3.4%), larger losses than normal for this time of year. Employment gains were concentrated in leisure and hospitality (+50 jobs), while job losses were concentrated in local government (-310 jobs). All other industries registered little to no change over the month. Total nonfarm seasonally adjusted employment is now 170 jobs below its pre-pandemic employment level (-2.5%).

Jefferson County’s total nonfarm employment increased by 180 over the past year (2.8%). Job gains were concentrated in the public sector (+220 jobs), and other services (+40). Job losses were concentrated in trade, transportation, and utilities (-60 jobs); construction (-40); and manufacturing (-20 jobs).

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the August county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Sep. 19, and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for August on Wednesday, Sep. 13.

Article Topic Follows: Business

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