Employment stats stay strong
Despite all three Central Oregon counties posting job losses in November, the losses were fewer than typically expected this time of year, and unemployment levels remained largely unchanged.
Jefferson County: The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 5.4 percent in November, down from 5.6 percent in October. The rate is down from last year when it was 6.1 percent, not a statistically significant decline.
Jefferson County shed 50 jobs in November, fewer losses than typically expected this time of year. Typical seasonal losses in leisure and hospitality were largely negated by strong monthly hiring in manufacturing, which added 40 jobs.
Jefferson County added 180 jobs from this time last year (up 2.9 percent), a similar pace of growth to neighboring Deschutes County. Much of the job growth over the past year was in manufacturing (up 150 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (up 60 jobs). Job losses continue to be concentrated in government (down 120 jobs).
Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent in October. The unemployment rate is essentially unchanged from this time last year. Crook County shed 110 jobs in November, a normal seasonal drop for this time of year.
Employment levels are up by a modest 1.4 percent (up 80 jobs) from this time last year. Private sector job growth was much stronger (up 4 percent) due to gains from professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Industry employment losses were largely concentrated in wood product manufacturing (down 30 jobs).
Government employment dropped by 100 jobs from last year with federal, state and local government all posting losses from 2016.
Deschutes County (Bend, Redmond municipal area): The unemployment rate has remained steady for the past five months. The rate was 4.1 percent in November, little changed from this time last year when it was 4.5 percent.
Deschutes County posted a loss of 110 jobs in November, fewer jobs lost than typically expected this time of year. This is the third consecutive month with strong seasonally adjusted job gains. The county added nearly 750 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis this autumn.
Despite the strong seasonally adjusted job gains the past few months, the pace of job growth continues to slow. Deschutes County added around 2,300 jobs since November 2016, a gain of around 2.8 percent. The county had not posted a rate of over-the-year job growth below 3 percent in more than five years.
Most broad industry sectors continued to add jobs over the past year, headlined by strong gains in construction, professional and business services, and manufacturing. Industry job losses were largely isolated to leisure and hospitality where employment levels were down a modest 1 percent from last year.