Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October at 5.7 percent. Harney County (12.6%) registered the highest rate for the month. Fifteen of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 7.7 percent and thirteen were below the nationwide rate of 7.3 percent. Crook and Morrow counties saw the largest improvement in their unemployment rates over the year with a drop of 1.7 percentage points, while Harney County posted the largest rate increase of 0.6 percentage point.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in five of Oregon’s six broad regions between October 2012 and October 2013. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+2.7%). The Portland area (+2.0%), Southern Oregon (+1.7%), the Willamette Valley (+1.1%), and the Oregon Coast (+0.1%) also saw job growth over the year. Employment declined by 0.5 percent over the year in Eastern Oregon.
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The Oregon Employment Department will release statewide unemployment rate and industry employment data for November on Tuesday, December 17th, and the November county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Monday, December 23rd.