A key indicator of the region’s economy shows improvement in the job base and continues to reflect the COVID-19 pandemic impact.
Columbia County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly from last month’s record high. It was 14.2 percent in May, down from 15.0 percent in April, according to the latest Oregon Employment Department report.
Comparing the numbers
The county's jobless rate was 4.6 percent the year before. The county’s unemployment rate reached a peak of 14.6 percent during the Great Recession. The statewide unemployment rate was 14.2 percent in May, and the national rate was 13.3 percent.
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 20 in May to 10,150 jobs. Seasonally adjusted figures compare expected changes with actual changes.
A gain of 70 jobs is normal for the month, but the county’s employment rose by 90. The private sector gained 310 jobs, and government shed 220 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 300 jobs. Local government education shed 220 jobs. Other industries had smaller changes.
May’s total nonfarm employment numbers show a loss of 1,420 jobs compared with one year before, a decrease of 12.1 percent. Almost every major industry lost jobs over the year, though losses were concentrated in leisure and hospitality, which was down 550 jobs over the year – a drop of 37.4 percent.
In May, there were 3,312 unemployed and 20,969 employed in Columbia County. In May 2019, there were 23,232 employed and 1,014 jobless.