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Oregon unemployment rate in slow decline, but local counties continue to shed jobs

According to January numbers from the Oregon Employment Department, the state's overall unemployment rate dropped in January. But in Jackson and Josephine counties, jobs saw a net loss.

Posted: Mar 9, 2021 11:10 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon's unemployment rate continued a slow decline in January, according to the latest numbers from the Oregon Employment Department, but local Josephine and Jackson counties lagged behind the state's overall progress.

State unemployment edged down to 6.2 percent in January from 6.3 percent the month prior, the continuation of a trend over the past few months. Oregon kept just ahead of U.S. unemployment, which hit 6.3 percent in January.

At its early-pandemic peak in April of 2020, Oregon's unemployment rate hit 13.2 percent.

"The state’s unemployment rate dropped by close to four tenths of a percentage point in each of the last three months of 2020, following more rapid declines during the prior five months," OED said in a statement.

The state's biggest gains came in the retail, leisure and hospitality, and private education service sectors.

"Despite the net job gain in January, employment still remains substantially below pre-pandemic levels," OED said. "Total nonfarm payroll employment has dropped 162,800 jobs, or 8.3%, since January 2020. Nearly all industries have cut jobs during that time. Leisure and hospitality is still down 76,800 jobs, or 35.6%, since January 2020."

Despite the slow gains in employment statewide, both Jackson and Josephine counties lost jobs in January — which OED largely ascribed to "seasonally typical losses" after the holidays in a variety of sectors. 

Josephine County lost 300 jobs — the majority in retail, construction, wholesale trade, and government employment. Payroll employment in the greater Grants Pass area has dropped by 1,000 jobs over the past year, or 3.7 percent.

Jackson County shed 1,350 jobs in January. Again, retail topped the list for losses, followed by professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and construction. The leisure and hospitality sector added 230 jobs in January, but has lost roughly one in four jobs since January of 2020.

Over the past year, total payroll employment in the greater Medford area fell by 4,970 jobs, or 5.5 percent. Still, the area has seen fewer total losses than the statewide average of 8.3 percent, and particularly over the Portland Metro area, which lost 8.9 percent over the year.

"Most industries continue to show over-the-year losses in Jackson County with the exception being retail trade, which added 380 jobs since January 2020," OED said. "Since January 2020, leisure and hospitality accounts for over half of total job losses, down by 2,640 jobs."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
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Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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