Clatsop County, still at 23.5% percent seasonally adjusted unemployment, added a slight number of jobs in May, a month after a record spike in unemployment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The county, usually expected to add 210 jobs in May as summer employment heats up, netted 10 additional positions after losing more than 4,800 in April. The county is down nearly 5,100 jobs from May 2019, when unemployment was 3.9%.
The county, dependent on a plethora of seasonal service sector jobs, has gone from having one of the state’s lowest unemployment rates to the second-highest after Lincoln County, where nearly 24% of residents are unemployed. Unemployment in May was 14.2% statewide and 13.3% nationally.
More than 4,600 people in Clatsop County have filed for new unemployment claims since mid-March. The rate of new claims slowed throughout May before a slight uptick earlier this month. After peaking at nearly 310,000 in early May, the number of continued unemployment claims statewide has trended downward, with portions of the economy reopening from virus-related closures.
Lodging, an industry shuttered countywide during the first few months of the virus, added 130 positions as hotels across the county were allowed to take visitors again. Employment in the industry was still down by more than 1,000 positions compared to the previous year.
Food services, the industry hit hardest by virus restrictions, still lost 40 positions in May and was down 2,150 from the previous year.
Retail, which saw the second-biggest number of job losses because of the virus, gained 30 positions, along with 10 positions each in wholesale and warehousing. The entire sector was down 450 positions from the previous year.
Local education cut 110 jobs in May, with schools shut down and students learning from home. Local government added 10 positions in May but was still down 110 from the previous year.