Employment largely unchanged in area
The employment situation for August remained largely unchanged across all three Central Oregon counties. Employment levels are nearly identical to what they were this time last year and the unemployment rate has now remained at low levels for several years.
Jefferson County rate same
Jefferson County's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.4% in August. The rate was 5.3% at this time last year.
Jefferson County lost 110 jobs in August, fairly typical losses for this time of year.
Employment levels are down by 70 jobs from this time last year (-1.1%). Job losses were concentrated in professional and business services and Indian tribal government. There continues to be notable job growth in manufacturing and modest growth in leisure and hospitality.
Crook County unchanged
In Crook County, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.6% in August. The rate was 5.8% this time last year, not a statistically significant difference.
Crook County added 20 jobs in August, a normal increase this time of year. The employment situation continues to be little changed over the past year in Crook County. Employment is up by 30 jobs, a growth of only 0.5%.
There were modest gains in professional and businesses services, manufacturing, and information. However, those gains were largely balanced by losses in retail, leisure, and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.
Deschutes County hovers near 4%
For the Deschutes County — the Bend-Redmond municipal service area — the unemployment rate remained at 4.2% in August. The rate has been hovering around the 4% mark since early in 2017.
Deschutes County added 260 jobs in August, larger gains than typically expected this time of year. In manufacturing, all shed jobs over the past year. There were modest gains in retail, wholesale, health services, and local government. The slowing job growth has yet to translate into a notable increase. In fact, the county typically posts minor job losses in August.
The trend towards slowing job growth continued in August with total nonfarm employment up only 360 jobs in Deschutes County compared with this time last year. That represents growth of less than 0.5%.
The pace of hiring was even slower in the private sector, where there was essentially no change over the past year. Professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing all shed jobs over the past year.
There were modest gains in retail, wholesale, health services, and local government. The slowing job growth has yet to translate into a notable increase in unemployed workers.
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