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Summer jobs sizzle in Gorge: HR unemployment up in July but still best in state

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates rose in July, with Hood River County rising to 4.7 percent and Wasco County climbing to 5.6 percent. Likewise, Oregon’s rate rose to 5.9 percent in July, an increase of 0.4 percentage point. Despite the increase, Hood River County still held Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, while Wasco County ranked eighth, according to a report by Dallas Fridley, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

Hood River County’s non-farm employment held steady at 10,710 jobs in July despite the loss of 260 jobs in local government education. Food services and drinking places led private industry with an increase of 60 jobs, rising to 1,350, and retail trade also turned in a good month, gaining 40 jobs to total 1,420. Manufacturing (+30); educational and health services (+30); mining, logging, and construction (+20); professional and business services (+20); and accommodation (+20) all rose in July.

Hood River County’s employment rose by a moderate 3.3 percent (or 340 jobs) over the year, ending in July. Manufacturing led the way, rising by 150 jobs or an impressive 9.7 percent over the year. Educational and health services also impressed, rising by 120 jobs or 8.6 percent. Leisure and hospitality (+70), retail trade (+50), and professional and business services (+50) also performed quite well.

In Wasco County, non-farm employment rose by 220 jobs to total 10,600 in July despite the loss of 170 jobs in local government education. Manufacturing led Wasco County, rising by 150 jobs to total 790. Professional and business services also impressed, rising by 140 jobs to total 590. Leisure and hospitality welcomed the warm weather with a gain of 80 jobs, rising to 1,480.

Gilliam County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 7.4 percent in July, an increase of 0.3 percentage point. Nonfarm employment fell by 15 jobs in July to total 720 with a drop of 20 in local government doing all of the damage. Over the year Gilliam County lost 20 jobs.

Sherman County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly in July, climbing to 6.8 percent. Nonfarm employment landed in the minus column, cutting 25 jobs in July, with a drop of 30 in local government doing the damage. Over the year Sherman County managed an increase of 20 jobs or 2.4 percent, with private industry adding 35 jobs and government cutting 15.

Wheeler County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage point in July to 5.5 percent, low enough to rank sixth, tied with Yamhill County. Nonfarm employment rose by five jobs in July to total 280, matching its year-ago total.



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