Gorge employment lulls in January

Numbers are in for Columbia Gorge jobs during early 2017.

Dallas Fridley, regional economist for Oregon Employment Department, released a report this month tracking seasonally adjusted unemployment in the region. The breakdown shows local job growth declined slightly this winter.

January unemployment

Hood River County: Seventh lowest in Oregon

Wasco County: Tenth lowest, tied with Lane County.

Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rose by 0.1 percentage point in January to 4.1 percent, ranking seventh among Oregon’s 36 counties, right behind Yamhill County’s 4 percent. Over the year, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point.

Hood River County’s non-farm employment drooped by 430 jobs in January to total 11,370 jobs. Retail trade cut 250 jobs in a post-holiday aftermath, falling to 1,240 jobs. Accommodation and food services shed 90 jobs, cutting their total in January to 1,460. Transportation, warehousing and utilities (-60), manufacturing (-60), and mining, logging and construction (-30) all pulled back in January.

However, arts, entertainment and recreation celebrated the New Year with a gain of 50 jobs, rising to a new peak with 1,140 jobs.

Hood River County’s nonfarm private-industry employment rose by 580 jobs over the year ending in January, a robust increase of 5.4 percent.

Education and health services performed exceptionally well, rising by 120 jobs or 7.9 percent. Accommodation and food services also impressed, increasing its total by 110 jobs, a gain of 10.7 percent. Fridley gave an honorable mention to professional and business services (+80) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+50).

Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 4.4 percent in January, ranking 10th in Oregon, tied with Lane County. Over the year, Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage point.

Wasco County cut 320 non-farm jobs in January, falling to 9,970. Private industry fell to 7,810 jobs, a loss of 260, while government shed 60 jobs, falling to 2,160.

Retail trade hit the skids, cutting 70 jobs to total 1,640, while manufacturing lost 50, falling to 700. Local government education cut 40 jobs in January, cutting its total to 740.

Wasco County’s private-industry employment rose by 240 jobs over the year.

Manufacturing led the way with a gain of 60 jobs. Education and health services rose by 50 jobs to total 2,230 and retail trade managed a gain of 40. Government rose by a scant 10 jobs.

Gilliam County’s unemployment rate fell by 1.3 percentage points in January, while Sherman County’s rate fell by 0.3 percent.

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