Central Oregon jobs recovery slows ‘dramatically’ in July after 2 months of growth

The employment recovery slowed dramatically in July across Central Oregon following much stronger job growth in May and June, according to a report from the Oregon Employment Department.

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 10.8% in July, down from 12.4% in June.

The rate remains significantly higher than before the COVID-19 crisis; it was 3.3% in March 2020, according to the report from Regional Economist Damon Runberg.

Deschutes County’s recovery continued, but at a much slower pace in July.

The county added 660 jobs in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a gain of more than 3,000 jobs in June.

There were around 79,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in Deschutes County in July, down from 88,880 in February 2020 (-10.1%).

Deschutes County lost around 14,860 jobs during the peak of the COVID19 crisis and has since added back around 5,890 jobs.

Put another way, Deschutes County has recovered roughly 40% of the jobs lost since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Runberg said.

Employment levels remain down for all major industry sectors compared with this time last year with the exception of mining, logging, and construction (+210 jobs). The most significant job losses remain in leisure and hospitality (-3,230 jobs); private education and health services (-910 jobs); retail trade (-720 jobs); and professional and business services (-710 jobs).

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 11.7% in July, down from 13.3% in June.

The unemployment rate is still much higher than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; it was 4.8% in March 2020. Total nonfarm employment rose by 90 jobs in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, continuing the recovery from the initial COVID-19 shock in April.

The county shed around 800 jobs during the first few months of the COVID-19 crisis, but has since regained roughly 150 of the jobs lost.

As of July seasonally adjusted employment levels remain down by around 10% compared with March 2020. Employment levels remain down significantly from July 2019 in leisure and hospitality (-230 jobs); manufacturing (- 100 jobs); and retail trade (-70 jobs).

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.3% in July, down from 13.3% in June.

The rate remains up significantly from before the COIVD-19 crisis; it was 4.2% in March 2020.

Jefferson County’s recovery stalled in July as the county added just 10 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a gain of more than 170 in June.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment levels in Jefferson County dropped by 1,260 jobs during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis and the county has only regained around 180 of those jobs through July. Employment levels remain down more than 16% from before the onset of the crisis.

Similar to other communities, the hardest hit industry is leisure and hospitality with employment levels down 270 jobs from this time last year.

However, there also remain large losses in Indian tribal government (- 210 jobs) and manufacturing (-180 jobs).

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