Crook County no longer highest in jobless

All three C.O. counties see rates drop slightly

POSTED: 12:23 PM PST November 19, 2012    UPDATED: 12:36 PM PST November 19, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates dropped slightly for all three Central Oregon counties in October. The statewide unemployment rate also fell slightly in October (8.6%) from the September rate of 8.7 percent. The national rate sat at 7.9 percent in October.

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 13.5 percent in October from 13.8 percent in September, and improved from 14.4 percent in October 2011.

This October marked the first time since October 2008 that Crook County did not post the highest county-level unemployment rate in the state. Still, the county’s unemployment rate remained 4.9 percentage points above Oregon's. Grant County had the highest rate last month, at 13.6 percent.

The county dropped 100 jobs in October, which falls right in line with typical employment movements during this time of year.

Job declines were evenly split between the private and public sectors. Private-sector employment fell by 50 jobs over the month. The bulk of the loss occurred in leisure and hospitality (-40 jobs). Government employment also declined by 50 jobs, with losses concentrated at the federal level (-40).

Employment declined by 70 jobs in Crook County between October 2011 and October 2012. The private sector lost 120 jobs over the year, with the largest losses seen in wood product manufacturing (-60) and educational and health services (-50). Government employment rose by 50 jobs over the year; the majority of those gains occurred in local government (+30).

Deschutes County (Bend MSA): The county’s October unemployment rate (10.9%) dropped slightly from 11.1 percent in September, and sat 1.3 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 12.2 percent in October 2011.

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from September to October, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 900 jobs (1.5%) in the Bend metropolitan area. On an unadjusted basis, employment rose by 500 jobs (0.8%) over the month.

Most job growth in October occurred in local education, which added more than 300 jobs as the school year came into full swing. Private-sector industries that added jobs over the month included trade, transportation, and utilities; educational and health services; and professional and business services. These gains were largely offset by losses in leisure and hospitality as the summer tourism season wound down.

Between October 2011 and October 2012, Bend added 600 jobs (0.9%). Gains were evenly split between the private and public sectors; each added 300 jobs over the year.

These preliminary estimates are subject to revision as more information becomes available from employers. Annual revisions, which will 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 was essentially unchanged in October, but did drop slightly to 12.2 percent from the revised September rate of 12.3 percent. The October rate improved more notably over the year; in October 2011, the unemployment rate stood at 13.1 percent.

Jefferson County lost 90 jobs in October, when a loss of 50 jobs would typically be expected. The private sector lost 40 jobs over the month. Small gains in manufacturing (+10) and educational and health services (+10) were more than offset by losses in leisure and hospitality (-40). Government dropped 50 jobs, largely due to a decline in Indian tribal employment.

Jefferson County added 60 jobs between October 2011 and October 2012. The county’s year-to-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 November 2012 will be released on Monday, December 24th.