BEND, OR -- The unemployment rate in Deschutes county ticked up slightly for the second consecutive month. It rose from 3.8% percent, in June, to 4% last month. Crook County's rate also went up .2%, reaching 5.7%; and Jefferson County held relatively steady at 5.1% in July.
Karla Castillo, a workforce analyst with the Oregon Employment Department, says despite the increases, the region's economy continues to improve. "[It's] Important to mention that the increases were not statistically significant, and are much related to growth in the labor force; therefore, more people looking for a job. They report as 'unemployed,' and then the unemployment rate goes up during June and July." She tells KBND News the local economy continues to show improvement. "When you compare employment numbers and the unemployment rate, you can see that we have a pretty healthy situation. We're not adding jobs as fast as we were last year, but we're still adding jobs at a much faster pace than any other county in the state."
In Deschutes County, the number of employed and unemployed both increased in July. More than 1,100 people entered the workforce and nearly 300 searched for jobs.
In the past year, Deschutes County has added 4,020 jobs (+5%), Crook added 190 jobs (+3%) and Jefferson County added 160 jobs (+2.5%). Castillo says, "Over the year, we did see some growth in industries that are not typically seasonal; for example, in financial activities and the manufacturing industry, there are a lot of jobs from July 2016 to July 2017."