Unemployment rates fall slightly; Deschutes Co. has regained 53% of total jobs lost

Deschutes County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.5% in September, down from 8.4% in August, according to new data from the Oregon Employment Department.

“Despite the dramatic improvement over the past several months the rate remains significantly higher than before the COVID19 crisis; it was 3.3% in March 2020,” said Damon Runberg, a regional economist with the employment department.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment posted very strong gains in September.

Deschutes County added 1,800 jobs (+2.2%) in September after a revised gain of 680 jobs in August.

Total nonfarm employment remains down roughly 7.6% from before the COVID-19 crisis in February 2020 (-6,080 jobs).

“The labor market remains far from recovered as Deschutes County has only regained 53% of the 14,540 jobs lost during the onset of the pandemic,” Runberg said.

Leisure and hospitality account for roughly 60% of the job losses over the past year.

Construction remains the only major industry sector to add jobs over the past year (+240 jobs).

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 9.1% in September, down from the revised rate of 9.7% in August.

The unemployment rate is much improved since May, but still higher than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; it was 4.8% in March 2020.

Total nonfarm employment rose by 40 jobs in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, continuing the recovery from the initial COVID-19 shock in April. Crook County has recovered 250 of the 800 jobs lost during the COVID-19 crisis.

As of September, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment levels remain down by around 8.3% compared with March 2020.

The hardest-hit industry remains leisure and hospitality with employment down 200 jobs from this time last year. Construction, information, and professional and business services all added jobs over the past year.

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5% in September, down from 9.6% in August.

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

Jefferson County added 100 jobs in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a gain of 130 jobs in August.

Jefferson County has added back roughly 35% of the total nonfarm jobs lost during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis.

There remain 840 fewer seasonally adjusted jobs in September compared with February. Job losses over the past year are concentrated in leisure and hospitality (-230 jobs); Indian tribal government (-180 jobs); and manufacturing (-120 jobs).

No major industry sector added jobs over the past year.

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