Employment in Douglas County continues to rebound from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic last year, with payroll employers adding a net of 160 jobs in February, after a loss of 30 jobs in January and 190 in December.

Douglas County has gained back 63% of the jobs lost last March and April at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, according to data released this week by the Oregon Employment Department. In the private-sector industries in February, there was a gain of 80 jobs in leisure and hospitality. Smaller gains occurred in the sectors of mining and logging, construction, and manufacturing, all of which gained a net 20 jobs.

However, there were losses in several sectors, including professional and business services (50 jobs cut), retail trade (40 jobs), and education and health services (20 jobs), according to the Oregon Employment Department. Government gained a net of 50 jobs, resulting from a gain of 60 jobs in local education, and 10 jobs each in Indian tribal and non-education local government. These gains were countered slightly by a loss of 20 jobs in federal government and a loss of 10 jobs in state government.

When comparing February 2021 with February 2020, total nonfarm employment is down 1,480 jobs, or 3.8%, the Oregon Employment Department said. All major private industry sectors are down over the year. One bright spot was food and beverage stores, a subcategory of retail trade, which had a gain of 70 jobs. State government added 20 jobs.

Douglas County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 6.1% in February, compared with a revised 6.2% in January. The rate is up from 4.3% in February 2020. The Douglas County rate has generally been tracking closely with the statewide and national rates.

The Oregon unemployment rate in February was 6.1%, and the U.S. rate was 6.2% for the same month.

Scott Carroll can be reached at [email protected] or 541-957-4204.

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