Four of the five counties in Central and South Central Oregon saw a small up-tick in their unemployment rates between May and June – as abundant summer job prospects caused the labor force to swell. All five counties had lower rates in June compared with the previous year. Lake had the highest at 8.0 percent. The Bend Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the lowest rate at 5.5 percent.
Crook County: The county’s unemployment rate moved upward by 0.3 percentage point to 6.6 percent in June from its revised May level. This is the first increase in the county’s rate since February, when the rate increased a tenth of a point. June’s rate is 1.4 percentage points lower than the year-ago figure. Crook County gained 280 jobs in June, and 620 since January. The gains in June were stronger than normal, after weaker than normal gains in May. During June, gains were robust in the private and public sectors. The private sector added 220 jobs distributed throughout many of the county’s industries. The largest growth occurred in manufacturing which added 90 jobs, and 80 of those were in wood products manufacturing. Elsewhere gains were evenly spread between wholesale trade (+30), natural resources and mining (+20), construction (+20), retail trade (+20), and leisure and hospitality (+20). No industries lost jobs. The public sector experienced seasonal gains in federal (+50) and state (+10) government. The county recorded year-over-year employment growth for the 18th straight month. Employment was 3.3 percent above last June’s level. Leisure and hospitality’s expansion (+6.3%) led the county’s advances, along with strong growth in local government (+6.2%), construction (+6.1%), and financial activities (+5.9%). Professional and business services ( 5.9%) was the only industry that experienced weaker employment.
Bend MSA (Deschutes County): The MSA’s unemployment rate experienced a slight increase in June by 0.3 percentage point from its revised May level to 5.5 percent. This is the lowest June rate since 2001. The rate is 1 full percentage point lower than last June. The Bend MSA gained 1,350 jobs after adding a revised 850 jobs in May, and gaining 4,710 jobs since January. The June expansion was smaller than typical, but the gains since January are greater than normal. Employment gains were widespread among the area’s industries going into the summer months, with a hot housing market and approaching tourist season. Advances were strong in leisure and hospitality (+620), professional and business services (+290), natural resources, mining and construction (+240), and retail trade (+210). Small gains were seen in federal (+40) and state government (+20), and wood products manufacturing (+20). Declines during June were experienced in durable goods manufacturing ( 70), local education ( 50), and educational and health services ( 30). The area’s year-over-year employment remained strong in June, up 3.7 percent from the prior year. Expansion continued in the private sector, fueled by professional and business services (+11.6%), natural resources, mining and construction (+9.9%), retail trade (+6.5%), and accommodations and food services (+5.7%). Government employment ( 5.1%) and financial activities ( 1.2%) showed weakness.
Jefferson County: The county’s unemployment rate saw a small increase in June, up 0.2 percentage point from its revised May level to 5.7 percent. This is the lowest the rate has been in June since 2001, when it was 5.4 percent. Jefferson County gained 220 jobs in June. This is the largest monthly job gain so far this year, and 570 jobs have been added since January. The increase was above normal for June, and the gains since January are slightly above normal heading into summer. The gains in June were strongest in Indian tribal (+130) and leisure and hospitality (+40). There was a gain of 20 jobs in wood products manufacturing. A number of industries added 10 jobs including natural resources and mining, construction, professional and business services, and other services. Wholesale trade ( 10) was the only industry to lose jobs in June. The county’s year-over-year employment growth remained in positive territory during June, up 1.9 percent – 120 more jobs than last June. Strength was seen in professional and business services (+18.8%), educational and health services (+13.0%), and Indian Tribal (+4.8%). Federal government ( 5.9%) and wood product manufacturing ( 2.7%) were weak.
Klamath County: The county’s unemployment rate moved upward slightly by 0.2 percentage point in June from its revised May level to 7.5 percent. This is the lowest June rate since 2000, and it’s 1.7 percentage points lower than last June. Klamath County added 400 nonfarm jobs, building on a revised gain of 400 jobs in May. June advances were weaker than normal, but the county added 1,180 jobs since January. The private sector had healthy job gains in June, with several industries contributing to the growth. Leisure and hospitality (+250) gained the most jobs, as the summer season began, construction (+60), and durable goods manufacturing (+40) also saw growth. A few industries lost jobs in June including: educational and health services ( 50) and wholesale trade ( 20). The public sector added jobs at the federal level (+140) and lost jobs at the local level ( 40). Klamath County’s year-over-year employment comparison showed continued growth with a gain of 2.9 percent. Industries reporting strong job growth include general merchandise stores (+19.4%), financial activities (15.0%), and construction (+13.2%). Weakness continued in natural resources and mining ( 20.8%), food and beverage stores ( 6.2%), and nondurable goods manufacturing ( 4.9%).
Lake County: The county’s unemployment rate dropped for the fourth straight month in June to 8.0 percent. This is also the lowest June rate since 2002, and it’s 0.6 percentage point lower than last June. Lake County’s nonfarm payrolls added 160 jobs, building on the gains since February. June’s growth was above typical for the month, and the county’s year-to-date gains are in line with past years. The addition of 160 jobs was the result of growth in the private and public sectors. Over the month, the federal government saw seasonal gains of 70 jobs and state government added 40 jobs. The private sector’s largest gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+20), while natural resources, construction, manufacturing, retail trade, and other services each added 10. June’s year-over-year employment change rebounded to positive territory with 50 more jobs than last year. Numerous industries experienced small over-the-year gains. The largest were in state government, construction, and financial activities. Educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing had the largest employment declines.
Central and South Central Oregon Employment Situation for July 2005 is scheduled to be released on Friday, August 19, 2005.