While the employment situation in the CO improves, the number of unemployment benefit recipients has fallen by 60% since January

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(Update: add more Runberg comments)

Unemployment rates are still above pre-pandemic levels, but employment numbers are near pre-COVID peak

BEND, Oregon (KTVZ) – Unemployment rates fell in central Oregon in June following moderate job gains, the Oregon Department of Employment reported Tuesday.

The drop in unemployment rates is reinforced by the drop in the number of workers claiming unemployment benefits, regional economist Damon Runberg said in his monthly update. The number of residents claiming benefits in central Oregon has declined monthly this year and is down 60% in June from January levels.

Runberg said that in Deschutes County, for example, the maximum number of jobless claim beneficiaries was 8,281 a year ago and “dropped quite steadily, until the winter wave / extreme COVID risk levels “.

The winter peak was 3,749 UI workers in January. It has fallen every month, reaching 1,505 in June, he said.

Also in Deschutes County, Runberg told NewsChannel 21: “I continue to be convinced that the recovery is faster than these BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) estimates suggest.

“We just received the payroll tax statements up to March (these monthly estimates will be revised with these payroll statements for the July report),” the economist said. “The good news is that these tax records show Deschutes County created 1,340 PLUS jobs between January and March, compared to initial estimates. Additionally, the sharp drop in the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits implies that workers return to work far faster than the U rate shows. ”

Here are the county reports for June:

Crook County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4% in June, down slightly from 7.6% in May. The unemployment rate remains higher than before the first impacts of COVID-19 in February 2020, when it was 4.4%.

Crook County created 120 jobs in June, a slightly slower pace of hiring than expected at this time of year. The total number of non-farm jobs in June was roughly equivalent to the pre-COVID peak in February 2020.

The monthly job gains were concentrated in leisure and hospitality (+40 jobs); however, employment levels remain down 130 positions from June 2019. There was also modest growth in professional and business services; construction; federal government; and state government. Much of that growth was typical seasonal hiring.

Deschutes County (Bend-Redmond MSA): The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.9% in June from 6.1% in May. The unemployment rate remains higher than before the first impacts of COVID-19 in February 2020, when it was 3.3%.

Deschutes County created 1,710 jobs in June, exceeding normal seasonal expectations of about 300 jobs (+ 0.4%). After those job gains in June, employment levels in Deschutes County remain down 5% (-4,500 jobs) from the pre-COVID peak in February 2020.

Job gains in June were concentrated in retail trade (+590 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+490 jobs); and building (+130). These are industries that typically add jobs at this time of year. In fact, the leisure and hospitality industry continues to underperform typical seasonal hiring despite employment levels down more than 18% from June 2019 levels.

It is important to note that these estimates are preliminary and subject to revisions. In fact, those estimates will be revised next month with payroll records until the first quarter of 2021.

Jefferson County: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8% in June, down slightly from 7.0% in May. The unemployment rate remains higher than before the first impacts of COVID-19 in February 2020, when it was 4.1%.

Total non-farm employment increased by 80 jobs in June, a fairly typical hiring for this time of year. Employment levels remain down about 1.4% (-100 jobs) from the pre-COVID peak in February 2020.

The monthly job gains were concentrated in leisure and hospitality (+30 jobs); Indian tribal government (+30 jobs); and retail trade (+20 jobs). Job gains in leisure and hospitality have largely matched seasonal expectations in recent months as the industry struggles to recover from the pandemic.

Upcoming press releases

The Oregon Department of Employment plans to release unemployment rates for counties and metropolitan areas for July on Tuesday, August 24 and data from the Unemployment Rate and Employment Survey across the country. the state for July on Tuesday August 17.

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