The unemployment rate reached historically low levels in Crook and Jefferson counties despite fairly typical spring hiring by local businesses, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
In Jefferson County, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in May, down significantly from 5.2 percent in April. Jefferson County recorded the lowest unemployment rate in series history going back to 1990. The rate is down significantly from last May when it was 7.0 percent.
Jefferson County added 120 jobs in May, fewer than the 170 jobs typically expected this time of year.
Total nonfarm employment is up 60 jobs from this time last year (+0.9 percent). Employment levels remain below its pre-recession peak by 240 jobs. Indian tribal government (-50) and retail trade (-30 jobs) were the only sectors to post significant job losses. The only notable gains were in manufacturing (+90) and education and health services (+30).
In Crook County, the unemployment rate remains at historically low levels this spring. The unemployment rate was little changed in May at 5.6 percent. The rate was 5.7 percent in April and 7.2 percent in May 2016.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130 jobs in May, fairly typical gains for this time of year.
In Deschutes County, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained little changed at the historic low rate of 3.5 percent. The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent last month and 5.0 percent in May 2016.
The county posted notable gains in the labor force over the past year (+4.5 percent) due to the county adding over 5,000 employed residents.
Local businesses continued to hire across Deschutes County in spite of historically low unemployment levels making it challenging to find qualified workers. Deschutes County has posted 70 consecutive months of over-the-year job gains.