Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Most county unemployment rates dropped in February

About once a month we produce an estimate of the unemployment rate in each of Oregon's 36 counties. The story pretty much goes like this: Crook County had the highest unemployment rate, and Benton County had the lowest rate.

Once in a while Gilliam County wins the "contest" for the lowest unemployment rate (like it did in January, according to revised data).

Today we released the numbers for February.

If you were hoping for a surprise in the numbers, we're sorry to disappoint you. The range of unemployment rates was:
Crook = 14.9%
Benton = 6.8%

Perhaps a good bit of news is that the range last month was slightly higher; all counties were between 7.1 percent (Gilliam) and 15.8 percent (Crook). This general decrease may be evidence that the pains of the recession are beginning to ease.

In fact, 29 of the state's 36 counties had unemployment rates that were the same as or lower than the year prior. Union County saw the biggest drop, from 11.4 percent in February 2009 to 8.9 percent in February 2010.

If you want to check out the unemployment rates for your county, you can click here.

You can also look up employment data by county and industry through this link.

There's also an interesting, interactive map on our main page. (

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