Thursday, March 24, 2011

February (Un)Employment in Oregon's Counties

This morning the Oregon Employment Department released the unemployment rates and employment numbers for the state's counties and metropolitan areas.

In February 2011, seasonally adjusted unemployment rates were above 10.0 percent in 23 of Oregon’s 36 counties. Benton County had the lowest jobless rate for the month (6.5%), and Crook County had the highest rate (16.4%).

From February 2010 to February 2011, the jobless rates in seven counties dropped by 1.0 percentage point or more. The largest over-the-year decline occurred in Sherman County (-1.7 percentage points). The largest unemployment rate increase over the year occurred in Grant County (+1.6 percentage points).

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.2 percent in February, and the U.S. rate was 8.9 percent.

For more county and metropolitan (un)employment data, visit our Local Area UnemploymentStatistics and Current Employment Statistics pages.

An important note: For many years, monthly employment estimates for Oregon and its metropolitan areas have been developed by economists and analysts with the Oregon Employment Department. These estimates were based on a monthly survey of Oregon businesses and these economists' extensive knowledge about their local economies. Starting with the employment data for March 2011, to be published on April 12th, responsibility for these estimates will shift to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The estimates developed by BLS will be more heavily dependent on the sample of businesses and less reliant on knowledge of local economic events. This change could result in increased month-to-month variability for the industry employment numbers, particularly for Oregon's smaller metropolitan areas.

Questions on the shift in responsibility for monthly employment estimates? Contact our Administrator, Graham Slater at (503) 947-1212.

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