News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Reopening moves the needle on labor market

The movement into Phase 1 of COVID-19 reopening in Central Oregon moved the needle for the regional labor market. The unemployment rate improved slightly in May as many workers on temporary layoff began getting called back to work.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Deschutes County dropped to 16.3 percent in May, down from 18.3 percent in April. An additional 3,068 workers were employed in May compared with April. The rate remains significantly higher than this time last year (3.9 percent).

Deschutes County added 1,680 jobs in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. Roughly 11 percent of the jobs that were lost in April were added back in May.

Total nonfarm employment remains down by 13.9 percent from this time last year (-12,120 jobs). The largest losses continue to be seen in leisure and hospitality, down 6,160 from last year (-45.6 percent). Other hard-hit sectors include professional and business services (-1,470 jobs); government (-1,460 jobs); health services (-810 jobs); and retail trade (-750 jobs).


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