Umatilla, Morrow County Jobless Rates Fall

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Umatilla County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point in February to 4.9 percent, ranking 23rd among Oregon’s 36 counties, just behind Malheur County. Over the year, Umatilla County’s seasonally adjusted rate fell by 0.8 percentage point, although it ranked 19th last year, tied with Lincoln County.

According to Dallas Fridley, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department, Umatilla County’s nonfarm employment rose by 330 jobs in February to total 27,690. Private industry gained 220 jobs, rising to 20,170 while government chipped in 110 to reach 7,520. Professional and business services led private industry, surging ahead by 50 jobs in February to total 1,320. Mining, logging and construction rose by 40 jobs to reach 1,050 and retail trade also chipped in 40, climbing to
3,210. Durable goods manufacturing (+30), food manufacturing (+30), transportation, warehousing and utilities (+30), and leisure and hospitality (+30) all landed in the plus column. Local education led government, rising by 90 jobs to reach 2,570.

Fridley said Umatilla County’s private-industry employment rose by 210 jobs over the year ending in February, an increase of 1.1 percent. Education and health services led private industry with a gain of 90 jobs, rising to 3,380. Leisure and hospitality rose by 60 jobs over the year, an increase of 2.5 percent. Mining, logging and construction (+40) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+40) gained honorable mention. Government rose by 100 jobs over the year (+1.3%), led by an increase of 50 in Indian tribalgovernment.

Morrow County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point in February to 4.3 percent, ranking 17th tied with Wheeler County. Over the year, Morrow County’s seasonally adjusted rate fell by 0.6 percentage point although it ranked 10th last year tied with Polk County. Fridley said Morrow County’s nonfarm employment rose by 40 jobs in February to total 4,550. Private industry managed an increase of 10 jobs, rising to 3,530. Local government led the way with a gain of 30 jobs, rising to 840.

Over the year, Morrow County’s private sector cut 350 jobs, falling by an exasperating 9.0 percent. Construction was the culprit, cutting 490 jobs and falling to just 100 in February– a total which reflects the completion of a large utility power plant. Retail trade impressed, rising by 50 jobs over the year ending in February to total 270, an increase of 22.7 percent. Professional and business services increased its total by 30, rising to 160 jobs. Local government led the public sector, rising by 30 jobs over the year to total 840, while state government chipped in 10 to reach 130.