The unemployment rate in Lane and Douglas Counties continues to drop. The economy is getting better and more people are retiring.
Douglas County’s rate was 6.2 percent last month, that’s the lowest it’s been since the state started tracking it in 1990. Lane County had a 4.9 percent jobless rate in March--the lowest since 1999.
Brian Rooney is a regional economist with the Oregon Employment Department.
He says the region has been in steady recovery. Rooney says employment growth is broad based in both counties.
“In Douglas County, it’s somewhat unique because we’re not seeing a lot of new companies come in. but we’re seeing firms that made it through the great recession and maybe were dinged during the recession. They’re starting to add jobs just because of demand during the recovery.”
Rooney says another big factor that’s helping to reduce unemployment is baby boomers retiring. He expects those retirements to continue over the next decade.