Counties with the highest unemployment in Oregon

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February 9, 2024
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Counties with the highest unemployment in Oregon

While today's unemployment rates are significantly lower than the COVID-19 pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, the fear of job losses remains as workers stare down an uncertain economic future.

Experts are mixed in their views of a potential recession. The return of student loan payments, continually high gas prices, persistent inflation, and insurance price escalations are just a few of the factors that could limit consumer spending and potentially prompt another recession. The last economic recession before the pandemic—the Great Recession of 2007-09—sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years.

But as of January 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 3.7%—unchanged from the previous month and up slightly from January 2023. Regional and state employment varies widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.9% in Maryland to 5.4% in Nevada.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in Oregon using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in December 2023, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County unemployment rates are released about a month behind the national numbers. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

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#36. Wheeler County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 784 people (23 unemployed)

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#35. Hood River County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 13,558 people (412 unemployed)

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#34. Benton County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 50,346 people (1,583 unemployed)

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#33. Clackamas County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 226,300 people (7,790 unemployed)

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#32. Washington County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 335,720 people (11,325 unemployed)

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#31. Sherman County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 960 people (34 unemployed)

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#30. Morrow County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,872 people (207 unemployed)

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#29. Yamhill County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 56,053 people (1,981 unemployed)

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#28. Multnomah County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 468,165 people (17,111 unemployed)

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#27. Malheur County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,487 people (479 unemployed)

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#26. Polk County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 42,645 people (1,631 unemployed)

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#25. Tillamook County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 11,771 people (457 unemployed)

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#24. Marion County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 169,421 people (6,682 unemployed)

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#23. Clatsop County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 18,874 people (764 unemployed)

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#22. Deschutes County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 102,885 people (4,067 unemployed)

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#21. Wasco County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,797 people (530 unemployed)

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#20. Umatilla County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 37,985 people (1,555 unemployed)

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#19. Linn County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 61,429 people (2,526 unemployed)

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#18. Lane County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 177,861 people (7,436 unemployed)

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#17. Jackson County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 105,247 people (4,495 unemployed)

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#16. Union County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 1.0 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 11,959 people (529 unemployed)

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#15. Harney County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,551 people (160 unemployed)

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#14. Wallowa County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 2.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,463 people (159 unemployed)

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#13. Lincoln County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 20,435 people (930 unemployed)

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#12. Columbia County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 25,170 people (1,167 unemployed)

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#11. Baker County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,159 people (337 unemployed)

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#10. Coos County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 26,360 people (1,242 unemployed)

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#9. Jefferson County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 10,175 people (489 unemployed)

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#8. Douglas County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 46,501 people (2,229 unemployed)

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#7. Grant County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 2.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,133 people (155 unemployed)

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#6. Josephine County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 36,400 people (1,824 unemployed)

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#5. Curry County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 8,932 people (473 unemployed)

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#4. Gilliam County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 918 people (50 unemployed)

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#3. Lake County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,475 people (195 unemployed)

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#2. Klamath County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 1.0 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 1.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 29,738 people (1,676 unemployed)

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#1. Crook County

- December unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 10,751 people (662 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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