Residents of Oregon's Rural Counties Still Struggle Despite Economic Upturn Elsewhere

Aug 31, 2016

Oregon’s job market has improved in recent years, but that’s not true for many people in rural parts of the state. That’s according to a new report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy in Portland. 

Credit Oregon Center for Public Policy

The most recent unemployment rate for Oregon was 5.2 percent in July. That’s down from the height of the recession when the jobless rate climbed to 11.9 percent. But the study by the Center for Public Policy found rural counties haven’t seen as much improvement. Tyler Mac Innis is a Policy Analyst with the Center.
“I think really what we’ve seen is that a lot of the job growth in the recovery from the great recession has been concentrated in the Portland metro area and in the Willamette Valley and that a lot of communities outside those areas have yet to really feel the full force of the recovery.”
Grant County in eastern Oregon has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.9%. The report recommends state lawmakers make investments to help strengthen the economy and help workers who are still struggling.