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Regional Employment Outlook Keeps Getting Better

Oregon Employment Department

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.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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