Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Year-Over-Year Job Gains Return in Central Oregon

This past summer saw a return to consistent year-over-year job growth in Central Oregon, which continued into 2013. Deschutes County is currently experiencing its strongest employment growth since before the recession began in 2007. From August 2012 through January 2013, nonfarm employment showed an average over-the-year increase of 1,000 jobs. 

Although year-over-year growth is finally beginning to trend up, the region's employment levels are far from their peak before the onset of the recession. As of March 2013, Jefferson County was the only county in the region to gain back at least one-third of the jobs lost during the recession (+43%), which is lower than the statewide recovery of about 45 percent. Crook and Deschutes counties are recovering more slowly and have gained back only 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. 

Also last week we posted news from the latest occupational employment and earnings data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A recent article in The Bulletin dives deeper into the earnings information for Bend. As highlighted in the article, the average hourly wage for all occupations in the Bend metro area is about 10 percent below the nationwide average. Furthermore, out of 22 broad occupational groups 12 occupational groups had average hourly wages lower than the national average, while five occupational groups had higher average hourly wages.

For more information about employment growth in Central Oregon, check out the full article by Regional Economist Damon Runberg or visit the Central Oregon regional page on by clicking on the region in the map on the right-hand side of the page.

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