Central Oregon Economic Indicators – May 2020 Edition

BY: Kale Donnelly  Workforce Analyst
Serving the East Cascades of Oregon


The local economic data capturing the impacts of COVID-19 is out and, as expected, the loss in employment is both dramatic and widespread across all industries. While some industries may show marginal net gains over the year, all industries have experienced job losses over the month. Needless to say, monthly employment losses were completely unprecedented with the share of jobs lost in Central Oregon higher than the state’s. This is due to a high concentration of regional employment in the hardest hit industries.


In addition to the latest unemployment rates and industry changes, the Graph of the Month is a chart containing data that I think is either particularly interesting, informative, or was inspired by a recent data request of mine. This edition’s GOTM is: Oregon Employment Alternative Scenarios


With both the U.S. and the State of Oregon in a definitive economic downturn, we all want to know what lies ahead on the horizon of our state’s economy. When will we potentially recover, and what will that recovery look like? Thanks to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA), we have a few scenarios to lend that much needed perspective on just what kind of recovery Oregon might have in store for its future.


Three different scenarios shake out in Josh Lehner’s analysis – one that’s optimistic with a faster recovery in late 2022, a solid baseline that shows us recovered by mid-decade, and a more pessimistic approach with a recovery in late 2027. With so many variables up in the air right now – the widespread availability of a vaccine, a second, even larger wave of COVID-19 cases, permanent job losses due to a sharp decrease in household income and subsequent consumer demand, etc. – these alternative scenarios paint a picture of what may contribute to, or hinder, our economic recovery. For more detailed information check out this month’s indicators.


As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the local economy, would like me to give an economic update for you and your staff, or have a need for custom economic analysis.

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