Oregon Employment Department reports Central Oregon counties' employment rates steady.

MADRAS PIONEER LOGO - Unemployment across Central Oregon in April was little changed from March, but was higher than last March.The Oregon Employment Department's recent revisions to employment estimates showed that job growth was slower than initially estimated in both Jefferson and Deschutes counties.

Although still expanding, Deschutes County is adding jobs at its slowest pace in more than six years. Meanwhile, job growth was revised up in Crook County, and the rate of growth over the past year is now among the fastest in the state.

For Jefferson County, the unemployment rate was unchanged in April at 5.8%. The rate was 5.2% at this time last year.

Jefferson County added 120 jobs in April, slower hiring than typically expected this time of year.

Employment gains in Jefferson County were revised down, with total nonfarm employment up by only 100 jobs (up 1.5%) over the past year. Gains continue to be concentrated in manufacturing (up 100), but total job growth was tempered by losses in Indian tribal government, retail trade, and wholesale trade.

Crook unemployment down slightly

Crook County's unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 6% in April compared with 6.1% in March. The rate was 5.7% at this time last year.

Crook County added 110 jobs in April, stronger gains than typically expected this time of year.

Total nonfarm employment was up by 200 jobs (up 3.5%) from last April. The pace of hiring is faster than initially estimated, with upward revisions to wood product manufacturing, professional and business services, and information.

Those three industry sectors posted the fastest rates of job growth. There were no significant industry job losses over the past year.

Deschutes County rate down slightly

In Deschutes County — the Bend-Redmond municipal services area, the unemployment rate was 4.4% in April, barely changed from 4.5% in March. The rate was 4.2% last April.

Deschutes County added 970 jobs in April, around 50 jobs shy of seasonal expectations.

The county added 2,150 jobs over the past year (up 2.6%). Recent revisions revealed that job growth was slower than initially estimated across the metro area. In fact, Deschutes County has not posted rates of growth this slow since October 2012.

Although the pace of growth is slower, the county continues to see widespread gains across most industries. The fastest rate of job growth was in leisure and hospitality (up 5%), followed by construction (up 4.3%), and manufacturing (up 4.1%).

There were notable job losses in professional and business services, which posted the first over-the-year job losses in nearly six years, with 250 fewer jobs compared with last April (down 2.5%).

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