Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wildfires Had Little Impact on August Employment Figures

August employment reports for local areas were released on Tuesday, September 19. The reports were released as Oregon rains returned to help put an end to the fire season. However, the employment figures in the report pre-date most of the flare-ups, so wildfires and smoke likely had little impact on the recently released figures. The timing of the wildfires may impact the September employment figures, which will be released on October 17 (statewide only) and October 24 (local areas).

Employment Department regional economists in Central Oregon, the Columbia Gorge, the Portland area, and Southern Oregon provided the following information about wildfire employment impacts in their areas. Central Oregon was the only area with wildfire-related employment impacts in August. Deschutes County’s accommodation and food services industry lost more than 200 jobs in August, a month where tourism usually adds jobs.

The wildfires are expected to have a negative impact on September’s employment in tourism industries. However, these industries typically shed seasonal employment jobs in September. Since the wildfires and smoke coincided with the end of the tourism season, it may not be possible to fully tell which jobs were lost due to the unusual wildfires and smoke, and which jobs were cut as the usual tourism season ended.

Many wildland firefighter jobs are outside the scope of the monthly job growth figures. Data about the increase in wildland firefighter jobs will be available in about four months.

For more details about the employment impact of Oregon's wildfires in Central Oregon, the Columbia Gorge, the Portland Area, and Southern Oregon, read the full article on QualityInfo.

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