BEND, OR -- Deschutes County continues to rebound from the recession. The county now leads the state in job growth and in November, the county added 3,000 local jobs. Regional Economist Damon Runberg tells KBND retail is leading the charge. "The retail industry in Central Oregon is really focused in Deschutes County and it's really interesting the retail holiday hiring was really strong in November. It's stronger than last year and consumer confidence is high and that means people are buying stuff again." Runberg says job growth slowed a bit in November because the tourism industry delayed laying off some workers until that month due to the stronger than expected "shoulder season" between summer and winter.
Jefferson and Crook counties struggled to add private sector jobs in 2014. Following the November announcement that Woodgrain Millwork in Prineville was laying of over 200 workers, Crook County will likely end the year losing jobs, year over year.