Phase 2 leads to local jobs rebound; overall situation still well below normal

Phase 2 of Oregon’s reopening has led to a notable increase in employment across Central Oregon and a significant drop in the unemployment rate, according to figures released Tuesday.

But despite the improvement, the employment situation remains far below levels from before the crisis, said Damon Runberg, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

The region has recovered roughly 30% of all jobs lost in March and April.

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 12% in June, down from 16.3% in May.

The monthly drop in June was the largest monthly drop in the series history.

Deschutes County added 3,510 jobs in June, a 4.6% growth from May. Monthly job gains were far larger than typically expected based on seasonal patterns with roughly 70% of the monthly jobs attributed to a recovering economy.

Total nonfarm employment remains down significantly from this time last year (-9,530 jobs), however the employment situation is improving from the peak of the COVID crisis.

As of June, Deschutes County added back around 30% of all jobs lost since March.

Despite moving into phase 2 of reopening, many of the hard hit industries continue to see their employment situation down significantly from this time last year.

Employment in accommodation and food services remains down by over 35% compared to this time last year. Local education is down 17%, professional and business services is down 12%, and manufacturing is down by over 9%.

The only major industry sector to see growth over the past year was construction, which was up by around 160 jobs from last June.

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 13.5% in June, down from 17.1 % in May.

The unemployment rate remains up significantly from this time last year when it was 5.3%.

Crook County posted its first meaningful job gains in June since the COVID crisis began. Total nonfarm employment rose by 260 jobs for Crook County businesses.

Monthly job gains exceeded seasonal expectations by roughly 130 jobs.

Most of the improvement in June was due to a strong rebound in leisure and hospitality, which added 90 jobs.

Employment levels remain down 12% from this time last year (-760 jobs). Despite the improvement in June, Crook County businesses have only recovered around 14% of all the jobs that have been lost in the crisis.

Employment in most major industry sectors remains down significantly from last June.

Construction employment is down nearly 40%, leisure and hospitality down around 29%, retail trade down over 15%, and manufacturing down by around 11%.

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 13.1% in June, down from 17% in May.

The rate remains up significantly from this time last year when it was 5%. Jefferson County added 250 jobs in June and roughly half of those jobs can be attributed to economic recovery.

The largest monthly gains were in manufacturing (+90 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (+60 jobs).

Jefferson County posted the first improvement to the employment situation since the onset of the COVID crisis, however employment remains down over 16% from this time last year. The county recovered around 13% of all jobs lost during the crisis in June. Job losses over the past year remain concentrated in leisure and hospitality (-36%); construction (-23%); professional and business services (-22%); and manufacturing (-18%).

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