BEND, OR -- Central Oregon continues to add jobs, but our unemployment rates haven't moved. That's because more people are entering the work force, optimsitic they can now find work. Regional Economist Damon Runberg says Deschutes County in particular is seeing a lot of population growth. "We're seeing that in the labor force figures. People who were unemployed are coming back to the labor force. They are more optimistic they can find work again. So these discouraged workers are being encouraged. And that's a big reason why we're not seeing improvements to the employment rate. And that's actually good news-- those folks are coming back to the labor force right now."
Deschutes County's unemployment rate is 7.8 percent, while Jefferson Coutny's is around 9 percent and Crook County's is ten percent. Jefferson and Crook County both saw a significant boost in manufacturing jobs.