Although Lincoln County employment fell somewhat in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, it appeared to be falling dramatically in late March due to business closures and layoffs from the COVID19 restrictions. Data that reflect the economic impact from COVID-19 restrictions won’t be released until May. Even though regular employment estimates for late March are not yet available, during the week of March 15-21, 2020 the Oregon Employment Department received about 300 new claims for unemployment insurance from Lincoln County residents. That was nearly eight times the average of the preceding four weeks.
Statewide the department processed around 22,800 Unemployment Insurance claims, four times more than the 4,900 processed the week prior. The department received a total of 76,500 new claims online and by phone, around 20 times the workload experienced in a typical week. The Employment Department is rapidly redeploying its staff, opening additional phone lines, and hiring new staff in an attempt to address this unprecedented surge in claims. The department is still offering job seeker and employer services with additional, socially distanced options. We are present to help Oregonians who have experienced tremendous disruptions, while also doing our part to follow health and safety guidelines for our communities. More information on Unemployment Insurance benefits can be found here:
COVID19 Data and analysis related to COVID-19 can be found here:
February employment Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 80 in February to 18,490 jobs. Seasonally adjusted figures compare expected changes with actual changes. A gain of 190 jobs was expected for the month, but the county’s total nonfarm employment increased by only 110. Privatesector employment rose by 60 jobs, and government employment climbed by 50. Leisure and hospitality added 80 jobs, and professional and business services chipped in 30 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities cut 60 jobs. Local government, including education, added 60 jobs. Other industries had smaller changes.
February’s total nonfarm employment was 50 more than one year before, an increase of 0.3 percent. The private sector was down 60 jobs over the year and government employment rose by 110. Food and beverage stores added 50 jobs over the year and food manufacturing was up 30 jobs. Industries losing the most jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality (-90 jobs), construction (-50 jobs), and professional and business services (-30 jobs). Local government education gained 70 jobs over the year. Lincoln County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in February, essentially unchanged from the previous month (4.1%) but lower than the year before (5.0%). The rate was higher than the statewide rate (3.3%) and the national rate (3.5%).