Central Oregon

C. Oregon jobs picture stuck in summer doldrums

Deschutes jobless rate 10 pct., Crook 12.6, Jefferson rose to 10.8

BEND, Ore. - As summer progresses in Central Oregon, the unemployment rate shows little improvement, the state Employment Department reported Monday.

Deschutes County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is stuck at 10 percent for the third consecutive month, while Crook County's rate is stalled at 12.6 percent. In Jefferson County, unemployment is on the rise, jumping to 10.8 percent in July from 10.6 percent in June.

Oregon's unemployment rate inched back up to 8 percent in July, not a statistically significant change from June (7.8%). In contrast, the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent after being stalled for several months at 7.6 percent.

Crook County: For the third consecutive month, Crook County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 12.6 percent, this after dropping 0.8 percent the previous three months (February-April). Over-the-year unemployment has dropped from the July 2012 rate of 14.3 percent.

The county added 50 jobs in July, which is more than the expected loss of 70 jobs that would typically be expected this time of year.

Total nonfarm payroll employment was 5,840 in July, which was the highest July employment since 2008 when there were 6,930 jobs. The private-sector posted a gain of 130 jobs, while government shed 80 jobs.

Local government (-110) was the only industry to post significant job losses, which is expected this time of year. Wholesale trade; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and federal government all showed strong gains of 30 jobs in July.

Year-over-year job gains continued in July as total nonfarm employment was up 330 from July 2012. These over-the-year gains continue to be bolstered by growth in the private-sector (+360). Transportation, warehousing, and utilities posted the largest gains from last year (+90) with a growth rate of over 20 percent.

Manufacturing (+80) and educational and health services (+70) also showed strong over-the-year gains. The only private-sector industries to lose jobs over-the-year were professional and business services (-20) and mining and logging (-10).

Deschutes County (Bend MSA): Improvements to the unemployment rate stalled out as Deschutes County posted its third consecutive month with a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 10 percent. However, unemployment is down from this time last year when it was 11.3 percent in July 2012.

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Bend metropolitan area show an increase of 390 jobs in July, which is much more than the expected seasonal loss of 430.

BLS analysts estimate that private-sector employment increased by 1,510 jobs in July, while government shed 1,130 jobs. Government losses were concentered in local education (-910) due to seasonal school closures.

Tourism-based industries, such as leisure and hospitality (+770) and retail trade (+120) showed strong gains as we enter the peak of the summer tourism season. Mining, logging, and construction continue to show strong and sustained growth up 150 jobs over-the-month, the industry's highest employment level since 2009.

Total nonfarm employment in Deschutes County is up 2,180 jobs from last July, a growth rate of 3.5 percent. Nearly 90 percent of these over-the-year gains were from the private-sector.

Educational and health services (+650) experienced the largest over-the-year gains. Mining, logging, and construction experienced the fastest growth, up 15.7 percent from last year (+530). Leisure and hospitality continues to show strong over-the-year growth (+180) and manufacturing is starting to rebound (+140). Accommodation and food services (-580) is down from last year after reaching record employment levels last July.

These preliminary estimates are subject to revision as more information becomes available from employers.

Jefferson County: Seasonally adjusted unemployment ticked up in July to 10.8 percent from 10.6 percent in June. Over-the-year, Jefferson County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate lowered from the July 2012 rate of 12.1 percent.

Jefferson County experienced higher than expected job losses in July. The county lost 200 jobs, when a loss of 70 jobs would typically be expected. Indian tribal showed the largest gains from June gaining 50 jobs. Leisure and hospitality was up 30 jobs and manufacturing also continues to see growth (+20).

Between July 2012 and July 2013, Jefferson County lost 210 jobs. Losses were concentrated in Indian tribal (-140), wholesale trade (-60), and construction (-20), while manufacturing (+70) and leisure and hospitality (+50) were the fastest-growing industries over-the-year.

A code change occurred in January 2013 where a firm was moved from local government to educational and health services. Due to this change, a series break was created in total private, government, local government, and educational and health services. 2012 monthly figures in these industries are not comparable to 2013 monthly estimates.

Quarterly Benchmarked Employment Estimates: The Oregon Employment Department published a revised monthly data series for 2013 with the release of July nonfarm payroll employment estimates. This improved series is revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer tax records.

All department publications, such as news releases, monthly Oregon Labor Trends and local labor trends, will use the new data series unless noted otherwise. This revision resets the monthly estimates to the correct level and should reduce the drift that can occur with estimates that are revised annually.

The department will continue to make the original nonfarm payroll employment data series available. This data is produced by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics  and is revised annually.

These estimates will be revised as new data from businesses becomes available. The next Central Oregon Employment Situation with preliminary data for July 2013 will be released on Monday, September 23rd.

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