Unemployment rates in December were down across Central Oregon, with continued strong hiring after a sluggish start to the year, according to the Oregon Department of Employment.
Regional Economist Damon Runberg released the most recent data on Tuesday:
These estimates are in the process of being revised using payroll tax records. A more exhaustive look back at the 2019 employment trends will be produced after the revisions become public.
Crook County: The unemployment rate dipped to 5.2 percent in December from 5.4 percent in November. The rate was 6.1 percent this time last year.
Crook County lost 20 jobs in December, fewer losses than typically expected for this time of year.
The county added 120 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 2.0 percent. Job growth over the past year was concentrated in transportation, information, and leisure and hospitality. Losses were largely limited to manufacturing, which shed 40 jobs from last December.
Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in December, down from 3.9 percent in November.
The rate remains largely unchanged from this time last year when it was 4.3 percent.
Deschutes County added 260 jobs in December. Typically the county sees minor job losses in December. The county finished 2019 on a strong note adding 3,410 nonfarm jobs since December 2018 (+4.0%). Job growth was well distributed across most major industry sectors.
The largest job gains were in leisure and hospitality, health services, retail trade, and construction. There were no significant job losses over the past year; however, there were minor losses in professional and business services and durable goods manufacturing.
Jefferson County: The unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent in December, down from 5.0 percent in November. The rate is down from 5.7 percent this time last year.
Jefferson County lost 90 jobs in December, a fairly typical pattern this time of year. Employment levels are up 1.1 percent from this time last year, a gain of 70 jobs. The strongest growth sectors included manufacturing (+40 jobs) and government (+100 jobs). The only notable job losses were in professional and businesses services which posted a loss of 70 jobs from this time last year, and health services (-30 jobs)