Bulletin Staff Report

Unemployment rates in Central Oregon stayed steady in May, and employers added jobs at a slower pace, the Oregon Employment Department reported.

Deschutes County’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.3%, compared to 4.2% last year.

Hiring surged in May as employers in Deschutes County added 1,000 jobs, but that offset a more sluggish pace of hiring seen in April, Central Oregon Regional Economist Damon Runberg said.

Job growth over the prior 12 months was 2.5%, putting the Bend-Redmond Metro Area, which covers Deschutes County, in the middle of the pack of Oregon’s eight metro areas, Runberg said. Job gains were spread across multiple industries. Professional and business services had the only notable losses.

In Crook County, the unemployment rate was 5.8%, similar to 5.7% a year ago.

Total employment in Crook County grew by 2.7%, 160 jobs, over the prior 12 months. Job growth was concentrated in information, manufacturing and construction.

Jefferson County’s unemployment rate was 5.6%, compared with 5.1% in May 2018. Hiring was notably slower than expected for spring as employers in the county added 130 jobs in May. Total employment grew 1.6% over the past year. Manufacturing accounted for most of the gains while the largest losses were posted in Indian tribal government.