Unemployment levels in Central Oregon continue to slowly trend upward as hiring slows, particularly in Deschutes County, where over-the-year job growth was tied for its slowest pace in the past six years.
Slight increase in Jefferson County
In Jefferson County, the unemployment rate rose to 5.4 percent in November, an increase from 5.2 percent in October. However, the rate is unchanged from this time last year.
Jefferson County lost 80 jobs in November, slightly larger losses than typical for this time of year.
The county continues to grow at a fast pace, adding 310 jobs in the past year (up 4.9 percent). The largest job gains in the past year were in professional and business services (up 90 jobs) and manufacturing (up 60 jobs).
Crook County rate up
Crook County's unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent in November from 5.7 percent in October. Although the change is not statistically significant, it is the third consecutive month with an increase to the unemployment rate.
The rate remains little changed from this time last year, when it was 6.2 percent.
Crook County shed 120 jobs in November, fairly typical changes for this time of year.
Total nonfarm employment is up around 80 jobs from this time last year (up 1.4 percent). Employment growth was largely due to gains in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and local government education.
Deschutes County up slightly
In the Bend-Redmond municipal service area of Deschutes County, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in November, a slight increase from 4.0 percent in October. The rate is essentially unchanged from this time last year when it was 4.2 percent.
Deschutes County lost 400 jobs in November, fewer losses than typically expected this time of year. Seasonal losses were concentrated in accommodation and food services and construction.
Employment levels remain up by more than 3,000 jobs from this time last year. The rate of job growth over the past year (3.6 percent) is tied for the slowest going back nearly six years.
Despite the slowing rate of job growth, no major industry sector lost jobs in the past year. Modest growth continues in construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, and education and health services.