In April 2021, 19 out of 36 of Oregon’s counties experienced over-the-month increases in their unemployment rates. Curry and Morrow counties saw the largest over-the-month increase at 0.3 percentage points each in April. Nine counties experienced decreases in their unemployment rates over the month, and eight counties experienced no change in their unemployment rates.
Lincoln County had Oregon’s highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April at 8.3%. Other counties with some of the highest unemployment rates included Curry (7.9%), Grant (7.7%), Crook (7.6%), and Klamath (7.6%) counties.
Wheeler County registered the lowest unemployment rate for the month at 3.3%. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in April were Benton (4.7%) and Sherman (5.0%) counties. Sixteen counties had unemployment rates at or below the nationwide rate of 6.1%. Thirteen counties also had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 6.0%.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased in all six of Oregon’s broad regions between April 2020 and April 2021. This reflects the recovery period since employment in Oregon hit its lowest levels in the current pandemic recession. Most areas still have room to recover from pandemic job losses; the state has now recovered 59% of jobs lost in March and April 2020. The largest job increases since April 2020 occurred in the Coast (17.3%). Central (15.5%), Southern (10.2%), and Willamette Valley (8.2%) also experienced large over-the-year employment increases. Eastern Oregon and the Portland-5 regions added 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively.