The unemployment situation in Central Oregon is continuing to improve. That’s evident in the latest county-by county figures released Monday by Oregon’s employment department. But recovery in the region continues to lag behind the state as a whole.
Once again, Crook County improved the most -- the jobless rate there fell more than 1.5 percentage points in March. The county added 80 jobs in March.
But despite those gains, unemployment there is still above 13 percent.
Deschutes and Jefferson Counties saw their rates fall a few fractions of a percentage point. But the overall numbers in those counties are only slightly better than Crook’s, coming in at 11 and 12.5 percent respectively.
Jan Swander, an analyst with Oregon’s employment department, says, “We are improving with our job gains and our unemployment rate, but we are probably going to fall above in the unemployment rate with the state and the nation through 2012 and very likely in 2013.”
In March, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.6 percent. The national number came in just a tad below that at 8.2 percent.