Gorge employment strong in December

Last month’s employment rates for Hood River County were near the top statewide, according to a report by regional economist Dallas Fridley.

Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point in December to 3.2 percent. Ranked among Oregon’s 36 counties, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate finished second to Benton County’s 3.1 percent. Over the year, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage point.

Hood River County gained 250 nonfarm jobs in December, rising to 12,130. Arts, entertainment, and recreation welcomed winter recreationalists, adding 370 jobs to total 1,010. Wholesale trade cut 70 jobs in December, falling to 390. Mining, logging, and construction (-20) and manufacturing (-20) also cut jobs in December. Government lost 10 jobs, falling to 1,470.

Private industry employment rose by 360 jobs over the year ending in December to total 10,660, an increase of 3.5 percent. Professional and business services led Hood River County’s private industry growth, rising by 130 jobs to total 1,150 (+12.7 percent). Retail trade impressed, with an increase of 90 jobs pushing its total to 1,590 (+6 percent). Mining, logging, and construction (+70) and manufacturing (+70) also impressed over the year. Government rose by 60 jobs over the year with local government leading the way, up 50 jobs to total 1,200.

Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent in December. Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ranked as Oregon’s 10th lowest, tied with Deschutes County. Wasco County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady over the year, although it ranked 6th in December 2016.

Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 30 jobs in December, dropping Wasco County’s total to 10,380. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities rose by 20 jobs to total 250, and manufacturing gained 10 to reach 650. Mining and logging (-10), construction (-10), wholesale trade (-10), leisure and hospitality (-10), and other services (-10) cut jobs in December. Indian tribal government cut 10 jobs in December, dropping its total to 110.

Over the year, Wasco County’s nonfarm employment total was essentially unchanged, rising by a scant 10 jobs. Private industry rose by 90 jobs but government cut 80. Retail trade led the private sector, rising by 80 jobs over the year and leisure and hospitality also performed well, gaining 70. Private industry job losses were heaviest in education and health services (-60), manufacturing (-40), and information (-40). All levels of government cut jobs over the year, including local (-30), and Indian tribal (-20).

Gilliam County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point in December to 4.0 percent, ranking eighth among Oregon’s 36 counties. Last December, Gilliam County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, ranking 10th. Gilliam County’s nonfarm employment fell by five jobs in December to 810; there were 535 jobs in private industry and 275 in government. Over the year, private industry rose by 25 jobs, local government gained 25 to reach 240, and federal government chipped in five to total 15.

Sherman County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage point in December to 4.2 percent, ranking 13th, tied with Polk County. Last December, Sherman County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ranked eighth at 4.3 percent. Sherman County’s nonfarm employment rose by 15 in December to total 850 jobs. Over the year, private industry cut five jobs, falling to 480. Trade, transportation, and utilities cut 15 jobs, falling to 220. Government rose by 20 over the year to reach 370, with a gain of 10 jobs in state government and increases of five each in federal and local.

Wheeler County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point in December to 3.3 percent, ranking third among Oregon’s 36 counties, just ahead of Washington County. Wheeler County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 1.2 percentage points higher (4.5 percent) in December 2016, ranking 12th. Nonfarm employment fell by five jobs in December to 320. Over the year ending in December, private industry rose by 20 jobs to reach 175, while government held steady with 135.



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