Lincoln County’s unemployment rate shot to a record 26.2 percent in April, up from 4.7 percent in March. It was 4.4 percent the year before. Lincoln County had the highest rate in the state. Clatsop County was second-ranked at 24.4 percent. The county’s unemployment rate reached a peak of 12.6 percent during the Great Recession. The statewide unemployment rate was 14.8 percent in April, and the national rate was 14.4 percent.
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 4,400 in April to 14,000 jobs. The monthly job loss was the largest ever recorded in the county, and losses were primarily due to COVID19 restrictions. Seasonally adjusted figures compare expected changes with actual changes. A gain of 410 jobs was expected for the month, but the county’s total nonfarm employment decreased by 3,990, resulting in the higher loss after seasonal adjustment. Private-sector employment fell by 3,880 jobs, and government employment slid by 110. Every major industry lost jobs in April.
Leisure and hospitality shed 2,900 jobs due to a loss of 1,460 in the accommodations industry and a loss of 1,320 in food services and drinking places. Trade, transportation, and utilities cut 290 jobs of which 200 were from retail trade. The other services industry; which includes hair salons, repair shops, and churches; lost 180 jobs. Education and health services cut 170. Professional and business services, which includes temporary employment agencies, chopped 130 jobs. Local government cut 140 jobs. Other industries had smaller changes.
April’s total nonfarm employment numbers show a loss of 4,520 jobs compared with one year before, a decrease of 24.6 percent. Almost every major industry lost jobs over the year, and annual job losses by industry were largely in line with the industries that lost the most jobs for the month. Lincoln and Clatsop counties have a larger share of their employment in the leisure and hospitality industry than other Oregon counties, and this industry was especially affected by COVID-19 restrictions. April seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates are not available for Lincoln County due to processing delays caused by large increases in unemployment.