Area jobless rates nearing 10%
As the national recession deepens, news on the local employment front continues bleak.
According to the latest figures from the Oregon Employment Department, unemployment in Wallowa and Union counties edged upward again in November.
Wallowa County took a hard hit, as the unemployment rate surged a full three percentage points, from 6.4 percent in October to 9.4 percent in November.Union County, decimated in recent times by layoffs in the manufacturing sector, saw its rate jump from 8.9 percent in October to 9.5 percent in November.
Wallowa County’s seasonal economy stood out in bold relief in the latest figures. Between October and November, the leisure and hospitality industry gave up 50 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities also saw heavy losses, with 40 jobs gone.
Wallowa County’s civilian labor force in November totaled 3,571. Of those, 334 were without jobs.
The news in Union County wasn’t all bad, despite the higher than normal unemployment rate.
The manufacturing sector, which includes employers such as Boise Cascade, Northwood Manufacturing, Baretto Manufacturing, Fleetwood recreational vehicles and Eagle Cap Campers, added 90 jobs between October and November. In December, however, Northwood and Fleetwood shut down operations until economic conditions improve.
Industry losers for the month of November in Union County included construction, professional and business services, and federal government. Each of those sectors lost 20 jobs.
Union County’s civilian labor force in November was estimated at 12,470. Of those, 1,185 were unemployed.