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Gorge jobs pick up in December

Hood River County’s unemployment rate fell to an “extremely low rate” in December, ranked third best in the state, according to a report by Dallas Fridley, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

The county’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage point in December to 4.0 percent. That puts Hood River behind only Washington County’s 3.8 percent and Benton County’s 3.7 percent. Over the year, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.6 percentage point.

Hood River County’s nonfarm employment rose by a scant 40 jobs in December to total 11,440 jobs. Arts, entertainment and recreation led the way in December rising by 110 jobs to total 790. Retail trade (+20) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+20) also landed in the plus column. Wholesale trade cut 40 jobs in December, falling to 460.

Hood River County’s nonfarm private-industry employment rose by 270 jobs over the year ending in December, an increase of 2.8 percent. Accommodation and food services led the way, rising by 140 jobs over the year, a gain of 9.8 percent. Education and health services (+60), other services (+40), manufacturing (+30) and financial activities (+30) all landed in the plus column. Wholesale trade cut 110 jobs over the year and mining, logging and construction lost 30.

Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point to 4.5 percent in December; ranking eighth in Oregon, in a three-way tie with Sherman and Clatsop counties. Over the year, Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage point.

Gilliam County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage point in December to 5.2 percent, ranking 19th just behind Malheur County. Last December, Gilliam County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 1.0 percentage point higher. Gilliam County’s nonfarm employment held steady in December at 740, with 485 jobs in private industry and 255 in government, matching their year-ago totals.

Sherman County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point in December to 4.5 percent and an eighth place ranking. Over the year, Sherman County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage point. Sherman County’s nonfarm employment rose by 10 jobs in December to total 880. Private industry gained 35 jobs over the year, rising to 535 jobs, while government chipped in five to total 345.



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