Clatsop County’s economy continued to recover last month, according to a new report from the state employment department. However the unemployment rate is still far above what it was before the pandemic. KMUN’s Jacob Lewin reports:
The latest jobless numbers show Clatsop County added more than 500 private sector jobs in July, building on advances in May and Junes, but at a slower rate. The unemployment rate is 12-point-nine percent, down from a peak of 24% in April, but state regional labor economist Eric Knoder says that’s still an historically high number:
“We’re simply getting close to the worst of the great recession. This has been just an unprecedented fast and steep recession and so we’re by no means back to normal.”
In fact, compared to a year ago, the county has 35-hundred fewer jobs, with a little more than half of the losses in the leisure and hospitality industry. Knoder says most of the job additions last month were in restaurants and hotels, plus small jumps in retail and food manufacturing:
“It does seem to be that the worst is over for now. I mean economists never know the future of course and whether we can get another downturn from significant restrictions or illnesses, but it has been getting better.”
Clatsop still has the second high unemployment rate in Oregon, next to Lincoln County. The rate in Tillamook County last month declined to about 11-percent.
For KMUN, I’m Jacob Lewin