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Deschutes jobless rate inches below 10 percent

By KTVZ.COM news sources
Published On: Sep 23 2013 02:00:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 23 2013 02:00:44 PM CDT

BEND, Ore. -

Central Oregon jobless rates continued to stagnate in August, but Deschutes County's rate did dip below 10 percent for the first time in nearly five years, the state Employment Department reported Monday.

None of the Central Oregon counties experienced significant change in their seasonally adjusted unemployment rate this summer.

Crook County’s rate remained, at 12.6 percent with no change since May. Deschutes County’s rate dropped only slightly to 9.9 percent; however, it is the first time the county posted an unemployment rate below 10 percent in nearly five years. Jefferson County posted a rise in the unemployment rate this summer, up to 10.9 percent in August.

The national rate (7.3%) continues to see slow but steady declines. However, Oregon as a whole is experiencing the same stagnation as Central Oregon. In fact, the August rate of 8.1 percent was a slight increase from the July rate (8%).

Crook County: Crook County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 12.6 percent, the fourth consecutive month with no change. Over-the-year unemployment dropped from the August 2012 rate of 14.1 percent.

The county added 70 jobs in August, which was slightly higher than the gain of 50 jobs expected this time of year.

The private sector accounted for the majority of job gains in August (+60), while government increased by 10 jobs. Monthly employment gains were concentrated in manufacturing (+20) and leisure and hospitality (+20). Professional and business services was the only industry to post job losses from July (-10 jobs).

Crook County continued to experience over-the-year job gains. Between August 2012 and August 2013, the county gained 290 jobs. The private sector was up 8.4 percent, which was stronger than the statewide private sector annual growth rate of 2.7 percent. Private sector growth was headlined by transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+90); educational and health services (+80); and wood product manufacturing (+60). Government employment continues to be a drag on the jobs market, shedding 70 jobs over-the-year.

Deschutes County (Bend MSA): There was little movement in the unemployment rate this summer; however Deschutes County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent for the first time in nearly five years. The unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in August, down from 11.2 percent in August 2012.

Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the Bend metropolitan area show a decrease of 30 jobs in August. This represents a seasonally adjusted loss of 150 jobs.

BLS analysts estimate that private-sector employment shrank by 70 jobs in August, while government increased by 40 jobs. Employment losses were concentrated in educational and health services (-50); information (-30); federal government (-30); and state government (-30). August job gains were seen in local government education (+130). In the private sector, durable goods manufacturing experienced strong over-the-month gains (+60), while leisure and hospitality continued to grow (+70).

Deschutes County continues to see over-the-year gains, up 1,590 jobs from last August. The private sector over-the-year change of 2.5 percent is comparable to the statewide growth rate of 2.7 percent. Large over-the-year job gains were in educational and health services (+570); mining, logging, and construction (+400); manufacturing (+120); and leisure and hospitality (+120).

In sharp contrast to the trend seen across the state, all levels of government in Deschutes County gained employment from this time last year.

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

Jefferson County: Seasonally adjusted unemployment increased for the second consecutive month. The rate in August was 10.9 percent, up from the revised July rate of 10.7 percent. Over-the-year, Jefferson County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate lowered from the August 2012 rate of 12.1 percent.

Jefferson County gained 70 jobs in August when a loss of 80 jobs would typically be expected this time of year. August employment gains were concentrated in local government (+50). Construction; professional and business services; and educational and health services all experienced slight increases (+10).

Over-the-year employment declined in Jefferson County, down 80 jobs from August 2012. Wholesale trade posted the largest losses from last August (-80). Manufacturing, particularly wood product manufacturing (+60) and leisure and hospitality (+30) continued to account for the majority of job gains in the county.

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.

These estimates will be revised as new data from businesses becomes available. The next Central Oregon Employment Situation with preliminary data for September 2013 will be released on Monday, October 21st.

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