Unemployment shows slight uptick for July
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates ticked up in Central Oregon in July. However, the increases were not statistically significant.
The rising unemployment rate is affected by an increase in the labor force, typical in the summer months. The unemployment rates in all of the three counties of the region continued to be significantly down from a year ago. The employment situation across the region was consistent with the expected seasonal gains.
In Jefferson County, the unemployment rate went up to 5.1 percent in July from 4.9 percent in June. The rate is down significantly from last July, when it was 6.9 percent.
Jefferson County shed 60 jobs in July, consistent with typical job losses this time of the year. Monthly job losses were driven by declines in education.
Employment levels are up by around 2.5 percent from last year, a total of 160 jobs gained. Private sector gains were driven by the manufacturing sector (up 100) and wholesale trade (up 30). Job losses continued to be concentrated in the public sector, primarily local (tribal) government.
The unemployment rate in Crook County reached 5.7 percent in July, a nonsignificant 0.2 percent increase from last June. The rate remains down from last year, when it reached 7.1 percent in July 2016.
Crook County shed 90 jobs in July, slightly larger than the typical seasonal losses. Local government, which represents about 13 percent of total nonfarm employment, accounted for 80 percent of the losses. Local schools moved into summer operations and resulted in large job declines.
Employment growth over the year was up 3 percent (up 190 jobs). The growth was consistent with statewide employment growth. There were no significant loses, and job gains were concentrated in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (up 80).
Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The unemployment rate rose for a second consecutive month to 4.0 percent in July from 3.8 percent in June.
However, this is not a statistically significant increase, and the rate is still considerably lower than the previous year at 5.1 percent in July 2016. The rising unemployment rate is likely being driven by the growing labor force, which increased by nearly 1,435 individuals from June to July. Both, the number of employed (up 1,156) and unemployed (up 279) were up from last month.
Deschutes County added 110 jobs in July, which is typical for this time of the year. Near the peak of the summer, monthly job gains were concentrated in the leisure and hospitality industry (up 920) and construction. The professional and business services sector continued to have strong job gains. There were also some gains in the manufacturing industry (up 100). The strong hiring in the private sector in July made up for the typical seasonal loses in local government due to local schools going into summer break.
Employment levels are up 5 percent from last July 2016, a total of 4,020 more jobs. The county continued to add jobs at a faster pace than most counties across the state. Over-the-year job growth was led by leisure and hospitality, construction and the professional and business services sector. There were no significant losses over the year.
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the August county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Sept. 19, and the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data on Tuesday, Sept. 12.