Tuesday, April 21, 2020

March Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

COVID-19 Impact
March data from Oregon’s establishment and household surveys do not reflect the early effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the labor market. This is because the data used for today’s report was collected prior to public health measures related to social distancing began on March 17th. We expect the April data, published on May 27th, to show the early effects on employment and the unemployment rate in Oregon. Please see the Weekly New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the latest information on initial claims for unemployment insurance.

March Employment and Unemployment
In March, Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 2.6 percent. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in March include Washington County (2.8%), Hood River (2.8%), and Multnomah (3.0%). Twenty-nine counties had unemployment rates below the national rate of 4.4 percent. Six counties also had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 3.3 percent.

Grant and Klamath counties registered the highest unemployment rates for the month at 6.0 percent. Other counties with some of the highest unemployment rates in March were Wallowa (5.1%) and Crook (4.9%).

In March 2020, all but one of Oregon’s counties were at or below their unemployment rates for March 2019. Sherman County’s unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage point from March 2019 to 4.1 percent. Lake County’s unemployment rate decreased the most, dropping 2.3 percentage points from 6.5 percent in March 2019 to 4.2 percent in March 2020.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in five of Oregon’s broad regions between March 2019 and March 2020. The largest job gains occurred in the Willamette Valley (+1.7%). Central Oregon (+1.4%) and the Portland region (+0.9%) also experienced some of the largest over-the-year employment gains.

Read the full press release here.

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