BEND, OR -- Record low unemployment comes to Central Oregon.
"This is the first month in awhile we've seen a statistically significant drop in the unemployment rate across the board for all three counties, in fact, all three counties also moved into sort of new territory when it comes to the unemployment rate. We're at historically low levels," says Oregon Employment Department's Damon Runberg.
He says the tri-county area continues to add jobs, and no one area is providing them. "No sort of single industry sector is accounting for all the growth, but the big ones are definitely construction, professional business services, healthcare keeps doing well, and we've actually seen sort of a second push, new life breathed into leisure and hospitality."
All three counties are at historic lows, and while Crook County and Jefferson are higher than Deschutes, Runberg says the employment outlook for rural communities is about as good as it's ever been in Central Oregon, calling these low jobless rates 'historic.' "An all-time low for us. In fact, I think what's probably more impressive about that is our rate dropped below both the National and State rates of unemployment, and typically, we actually see that here, in the Bend / Redmond area, our unemployment rate tends to be higher than the National or State average."
Deschutes County added 1,270 jobs in May, and has dropped to 3.8% unemployment. Crook County added 120 jobs last month, with 5.5% unemployment and Jefferson County added 130 jobs, with its unemployment rate dropping to 5.2%.