Local job gains slow in November; losses concentrated in leisure, hospitality

The employment recovery from the COVID-19 shock slowed dramatically across Central Oregon in November, according to the state Employment Department.

Regional Economist Damon Runberg said it is important to note that these slowing rates of job growth do not capture the two-week COVID freeze at the end of November, which occurred after the reference week for these estimates.

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.6% in November, down from 7.3% in October.

The rate remains up from November 2019 when it was 3.3%.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment rose by only 380 (+0.5%); the rate of growth averaged closer to 1.2% a month over the three previous months.

Deschutes County has recovered 9,250 of the 15,340 jobs lost, roughly 60% of all jobs lost.

The slowdown in the recovery does not coincide with the COVID freeze, which began after the period for these November estimates.

Job losses over the past year remain concentrated in leisure and hospitality with employment down nearly 2,500 jobs from last November.

Manufacturing continues to struggle with employment down more than 800 jobs and the recovery slowing.

Local government education began posting notable losses compared with last year (-730 jobs) as schools remain largely online.

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.2% in November, down from 7.9% in October.

The unemployment rate remains significantly higher than in November 2019 when it was 4.7%.

The recovery from the COVID19 shock stalled in November with total nonfarm employment unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Crook County has added back 330 of the 520 jobs lost, 63% of all jobs lost. Employment in leisure and hospitality is down 140 jobs from last November with manufacturing not far behind (-110 jobs).

Despite these large losses the construction, information, and professional sectors continued to grow.

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6% in November, down from 7.3% in October.

The rate was 4.1% in November 2019.

Jefferson County shed 40 jobs in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a revised gain of 70 jobs in October.

The recovery took a step back in November. The county has only added back 440 of the 730 jobs lost, 60% of all jobs lost.

Similar to other parts of Central Oregon the employment losses over the past year are concentrated in leisure and hospitality and manufacturing.

However, local government is down significantly in Jefferson County due to losses in Indian tribal (-130 jobs).

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