Gorge employment rates hold steady in August

Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held firm at 4.7 percent in August, ranking second in Oregon, falling just behind Benton County’s 4.6 percent, according to a report by Dallas Fridley, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

Hood River claimed the lowest unemployment rate statewide in June and July, but fell to Benton County in August.

Hood River County’s nonfarm employment rose by 160 jobs in August to 10,850. Wholesale trade led private industry with an increase of 90 jobs, rising to 500. Leisure and hospitality (+50), manufacturing (+30), and other services (+10) all rose in August.

Wasco County held steady at 5.6 percent in August, ranking sixth — Oregon’s seasonally adjusted rate rose to 6.1 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage point.

Non-farm employment rose by a robust 4.9 percent or 510 jobs over the year ending in August. Manufacturing led the way, rising by 150 jobs or 9.6 percent over the year. Educational and health services rose by a healthy 110 jobs or 7.9 percent. Wholesale trade (+100), leisure and hospitality (+90), and professional and business services (+60) also impressed.

Wasco County lost 220 nonfarm jobs in August, falling to 10,380. Professional and business services left the largest hole, falling by 140 jobs to total 450. Manufacturing also lost jobs, falling to 690, a drop of 100. Leisure and hospitality made up some ground, rising by 40 jobs to total 1,520.

Educational and health services led Wasco County’s private sector, rising by 120 jobs over the year, an increase of 5.7 percent. Accommodation and food services also impressed, rising by 110 jobs or 8.9 percent over the year ending in August. Local government led the public sector, rising by 60 jobs over the year to total 1,440.

Gilliam County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent in August. Non-farm employment also held steady at 725 jobs, with an increase of five local government jobs offset by a loss of five in private industry. Over the year Gilliam County lost 15 jobs.

Sherman County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly in August, dropping to 6.8 percent. Nonfarm employment held steady at 855 jobs, with a loss of five in government offset by a gain of five in private industry. Over the year, Sherman County rose by 15 jobs despite a loss of 20 in government.

Wheeler County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage point in August to 5.7 percent, low enough to rank eighth just ahead of Clatsop County. Non-farm employment held steady in August with 280 jobs, matching its year-ago total.

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