Today the Oregon Employment Department released the September unemployment rates and employment estimates for the state's 36 counties. Benton County continued to have Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (6.4%) in September, while Crook County posted the highest rate (13.8%). Fifteen of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 8.7 percent.
Each month the federal Bureau
of Labor Statistics publishes employment estimates for Oregon statewide under
the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. These jobs numbers are
estimated from a survey of employers. The Oregon Employment Department also
collects employment data through the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
(QCEW) program. The QCEW series is a census of employment based on unemployment
insurance tax reports submitted quarterly by employers subject to Employment
Department law, and is not heavily revised like preliminary CES estimates. However,
QCEW data are less timely than the CES figures: while initial CES estimates
were recently released for September, the QCEW census of employment just became available for April, May, and June.
With the release of QCEW data through the second quarter of 2012, we can compare the initial CES employment estimates from the first half of 2012 with the more comprehensive QCEW data. In June, the most current
month with data available from both sources, QCEW employment growth
totals 23,300 jobs (+1.4%) from June 2011. By comparison, CES estimates
show a gain of 13,900 jobs (+0.9%) over the year. For each month
during the first half of 2012, the QCEW data shows stronger year-over-year employment
growth than CES.
For more information or data in your area, check out the Current Employment Statistics and Covered Employment and Wages pages at www.QualityInfo.org. The Office of Economic Analysis has also published a comparative analysis on the two data series that's worth a read.