Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates dropped slightly for all three Central Oregon counties in September, as back-to-school employment numbers helped make up for other job losses, the Oregon Employment Department reported Tuesday.
The statewide unemployment rate also fell slightly in September (8.7%) from the August rate of 8.9 percent. The national unemployment rate improved in September as well, with a decline to 7.8 percent from the August rate of 8.1 percent.
Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 13.8 percent in September, down from 14.3 percent in August. Crook County’s unemployment rate also improved from the year-ago rate of 14.6 percent in September 2011. Still, Crook continues to post the highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of Oregon’s 36 counties.
The county added 80 jobs n September, which falls right in line with typical employment gains during this time of year.
Private-sector employment was essentially flat in September; private payrolls dropped 10 jobs between August and September. All public-sector job gains in September occurred in local government, which coincides with expected back-to-school movement. Local government added 120 jobs, while state (-20 jobs) and federal (-10) government lost jobs over the month.
Employment declined by 70 jobs in Crook County between September 2011 and September 2012. The private sector lost 120 jobs over the year, while government added 50 jobs. The largest private-sector losses occurred in wholesale trade (-60) and wood product manufacturing (-50).
Deschutes County (Bend MSA): The county’s September unemployment rate (11.1%) dropped slightly from 11.4 percent in August, and sat 1.2 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 12.3 percent in September 2011.
Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show a loss of 610 jobs in September. A loss of 540 jobs is the seasonal norm for the Bend metropolitan area during this time of year. Analysts from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that private-sector industries shed 1,120 jobs over the month, while government employment rose by 510 jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the Bend metropolitan area posted a loss of 1,060 jobs (-1.7%) between September 2011 and September 2012, with private-sector employment down by 1,250 jobs and government up by 190 jobs over the year.
In all metropolitan areas, the preliminary estimates are subject to revision as more information becomes available from employers. Annual revisions, which occur in the spring of 2013, may also result in significant changes to Bend’s employment estimates.
Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Jefferson County eased to 12.2 percent in September from the revised rate of 12.5 percent in August. The county’s unemployment rate also improved over the year; the rate stood at 13.3 percent in September 2011.
Jefferson County added 80 jobs in September, which outperformed the gain of 50 jobs typically expected during this time of year. The private sector lost 40 jobs in September.
Industries with job losses included leisure and hospitality (-20), educational and health services (-10), and professional and business services (-10). Employment remained flat in all other private-sector industries over the month.
All September employment gains occurred in local government, which added 120 jobs with the start of the school year.
Jefferson County added 100 jobs between September 2011 and September 2012. The county’s over-the-year employment gains were driven by growth in Indian tribal government.
These estimates will be revised as new data from businesses becomes available. The next Central Oregon Employment Situation with preliminary data for October 2012 will be released on Monday, November 19th.