On Tuesday, March 29, the Employment Department released February jobs numbers and unemployment rates for Oregon’s counties and metropolitan areas. February unemployment rates declined in 35 counties and stayed steady in Wheeler County. Klamath County had Oregon’s highest unemployment rate, at 5.5%, in February. The lowest rates were in Benton and Wheeler counties at 3% each.
The Portland metropolitan statistical area added 6,100 jobs in February. The Portland metro area has regained 82% of the jobs lost in the pandemic recession, compared to 86% for Oregon overall. The Bend metro area added 200 jobs over the month and has more jobs now than before the recession. The Albany metro area has regained essentially all of its recession job losses.
Several rural counties have also fully recovered their recession job losses, and they now have more nonfarm payroll jobs than before the pandemic.
These counties include Baker, Crook, Gilliam, Harney, Morrow, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties.