County unemployment falls to 5.1 percent, state’s lowest

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point in August to 7.2 percent according to the Oregon Employment Department. Compared with August 2013, Oregon’s unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point over the year.

Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was basically unchanged in August, falling by 0.1 percentage point to 5.1 percent. Hood River County’s rate in August ranks as Oregon’s lowest, just ahead of Benton County’s 5.5 percent. Compared with August 2013, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage point.

Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rose by 0.3 percentage point in August to 6.4 percent, low enough to rank ninth in Oregon. Over the year, Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.6 percentage point.

Hood River County’s nonfarm employment total rose by 50 jobs in August to total 10,670. Leisure and hospitality led private industry with a gain of 50 jobs increasing its total to 1,970. Manufacturing rose by 30 jobs to total 1,520 and mining, logging and construction gained 10 to reach 340. Wholesale trade lost 40 jobs in August, falling to 410 and professional and business services shed 10, dropping to 930.

Total nonfarm employment in Wasco County fell by 170 jobs or 1.7 percent to total 10,080 in August. Manufacturing did most of the damage in August, falling by 140 jobs to total 700. Professional and business services cut 80, falling to 490 and other services shed 10 to total 370. Private industry jobs gains in August were limited to leisure and hospitality (+20), construction (+10), wholesale trade (+10) and education and health services (+10). Government rose by 10 jobs in August to total 2,080 with all of that gain coming from local education, increasing its total to 570.

Over the year, Hood River County rose by 280 nonfarm jobs or 2.7 percent over the year ending in August. Educational and health services led private industry with an over-the-year gain of 90 jobs (+5.0-percent), followed by an increase of 70 in manufacturing (+4.8-percent). Government held its own with a loss of 20 in local government offset by gains in federal and state government.

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