Economy in Central Oregon

By Jake Procino | Workforce Analyst/Economist, East Cascades | Oregon Employment Department

All central Oregon counties have fully recovered from job losses in 2020 and are in expansionary growth passing their pre-pandemic peaks. Over the 12-month span ending in October, all three central Oregon counties’ nonfarm payroll employment grew at healthy rates, but slower than Oregon’s statewide job growth rate of 4.0%. Crook’s grew at 3.9% (280 jobs); Deschutes’ at 2.7% (2,400); and Jefferson’s at 2.4% (160).

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Oregon ticked up a touch in October, though still remains very low at 4.1%. Oregon’s unemployment rate is 4.0% or above for the first time since February 2022. The three Central Oregon county’s unemployment rates have each increased since July 2022, but remain historically low. Crook’s unemployment rate is at 5.4%, Deschutes’ at 3.9% and Jefferson’s at 5.3%.

Topic of the Month: Personal Income Per Capita Growth 20202021

Personal income per capita grew in all but one Oregon county from 2020 to 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income is nominal income that people get from wages, benefits, dividends, ownerships and other sources. This statistic can provide insight into Oregonians’ financial health.

Compared with Oregon’s overall 8.1% growth in personal income per capita, Crook’s grew 7.7%, Deschutes’ grew 6.1% and Jefferson’s grew 8.0%. Of Oregon’s 36 counties, Deschutes had the 4th highest personal income per capita at $67,743. Crook’s and Jefferson’s personal income per capita was $50,708 (ranking 25th) and $43,145 (34th), respectively. The personal income per capita for Oregon statewide was $61,596.

The Bend-Redmond MSA (which is the same geography as Deschutes County) had the 45th highest personal income per capita of the 384 MSAs in the U.S. (88th percentile).

Explore the topic yourself on the BEA’s website here.

Good Reads

October 2022 US Labor Market Update: Job Posting Declines Are Sharpest Among Pandemic-Era Leaders,” by Nick Bunker, Hiring Lab – Indeed.

The U.S. Needs More Housing Than Almost Anyone Can Imagine,” by Annie Lowery, The Atlantic.

How Tight is the Labor Market? by Rand Ghayad, LinkedIn.