Monday, April 23, 2012

Unemployment Rates Improved for Oregon Counties

Benton County had the lowest seasonally adjusted jobless rate (5.7%), while Crook County posted the highest rate (13.5%). Sixteen of Oregon’s counties had jobless rates at or below the statewide rate of 8.6 percent. In March, unemployment rates declined over the year in all but one Oregon county. The rate was unchanged over the year in Gilliam County. Harney County saw the largest improvement in its unemployment rate (-2.4 percentage points) from March 2011 to March 2012.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose between March 2011 and March 2012 in five of Oregon’s six broad regions. The combined Central Oregon counties led the way with a growth rate of 2.4 percent over the year. The five Portland metro counties in Oregon combined for a gain of 1.3 percent. Smaller gains occurred at the coast (0.6%), in Eastern Oregon (0.5%), and in Southern Oregon (0.2%). The Willamette Valley (-0.9%) continued to experienced employment declines over the year.
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