Unemployment remains low in Central Oregon
Unemployment levels remain little changed in September from their historically low levels. Central Oregon continues to add jobs at a fast pace, with most of that hiring concentrated in Deschutes County over the past year. However, Jefferson County is continuing to see sustained job growth.
In Jefferson County, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent in September. The rate remains down from this time last year, when it was 5.5 percent.
Jefferson County added 30 jobs in September, slower hiring than typically expected this time of year.
Over the past year, the county added 130 jobs in the past year (up 2 percent). Growth is largely split between manufacturing, professional and business services, and health services.
The unemployment rate in Crook County remained unchanged in September at 5.4 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The rate remains down from this time last year, when it was 6.4 percent.
Crook County added 30 jobs in September, a fairly typical change for this time of year. Seasonal hiring was largely driven by school districts ramping up for the new school year.
The employment situation remains little changed over the past year in Crook County. There are around 50 more jobs than this time last year (less than 1 percent job growth). Hiring was concentrated in construction, professional and business services, and leisure.
Deschutes County, which includes the Bend-Redmond municipal services area, had an unemployment rate that was up slightly to 3.8 percent in September, compared to 3.7 percent in August. The rate was 4.3 percent this time last year; neither change is statistically significant.
Deschutes County added 260 jobs in September; typically the county posts job losses in September. Strong hiring in local education overcame the normal seasonal slowdown in leisure and hospitality, retail, as well as construction.
Job growth continues at a rapid pace (up 5.4 percent) with the county adding around 4,500 jobs compared to last September.
Although still fast growing, construction is no longer the fastest growing industry sector in Deschutes County. Construction is up 780 jobs over the past year (up 11.3 percent). There were more jobs added in leisure and hospitality (up 890) and health services (up 820).
The fastest growing industry sector over the past year was transportation, warehousing, and utilities, which is up by nearly 14 percent (up 270 jobs).