Central Oregon

C.O. jobless rates barely budge as 2012 ends

Local figures echo state, national picture

BEND, Ore. - Central Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rates were essentially  unchanged for Crook and Jefferson counties in December, while Deschutes  County's rate dropped slightly, the state Employment Department reported Wednesday.

The local figures echoed the situation elsewhere, as the statewide unemployment rate (8.4%) and the national rate (7.8%) remained unchanged from November.

Crook County: Crook County's December seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 13.3 percent was essentially unchanged from the revised rate of 13.4 percent in November. The unemployment rate did improve from the year-ago rate of 14.1 percent in December 2011.

The county dropped 60 jobs in December, a smaller decline than the loss of 100 jobs typically expected during this time of year.

The private sector lost 30 jobs over the month. Leisure and hospitality; mining and logging; construction; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities all lost 10 jobs over the month. Professional and business services (+10) showed the only private-sector gain in December. Government shed 30 jobs over the month, with losses concentrated in federal government (-30).

Employment declined by 100 jobs in Crook County between December 2011 and December 2012. The private sector lost 130 jobs over the year. Industries with the largest declines included trade, transportation, and utilities (-60); manufacturing (-40); and educational and health services (-40).

Deschutes County (Bend MSA): The county's December seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (10.5%) showed only a modest decline from 10.7 percent in November, but improved by 1.3 percentage points from the year-ago rate of 11.8 percent in December 2011.

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the Bend metropolitan area show a decline of 710 jobs in December. A loss of 480 jobs is the seasonal norm during this time of year.

BLS analysts estimate that private-sector employment declined by 510 jobs in December, while government lost 200 jobs. Between December 2011 and December 2012, estimates show that employment rose by 660 jobs, with a gain of 330 private-sector jobs and public-sector employment up by 330 jobs.

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 at 11.9 percent in December, but did improve from the year-ago rate of 12.8 percent in December 2011.


Jefferson County lost 120 jobs in December, when a loss of 60 jobs would typically be expected. The private sector lost 30 jobs over the month. Retail trade (+10) showed the only private-sector job gain in December. Government employment fell by 90 jobs.


Jefferson County added 90 jobs between December 2011 and December 2012. All 90 of these jobs gained came from the private sector. Manufacturing added 80 jobs over the year, while educational and health services and leisure and hospitality each added 20 jobs. The largest loss occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (-30). Government had no employment gains over the year, however Indian tribal employment added 120 jobs.

These estimates will be revised as new data from businesses becomes available. The next Central Oregon Employment Situation with preliminary data for January 2013 will be released on Friday, March 8th.

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