This post continues with our regular series on the regions within Oregon. For more, see the regional tab at the top of the page.
Forests, agriculture and formidable terrain cover much of this region that stretches east of the Cascades to the Idaho border and the Columbia River and Washington to the north. Covering nearly 20 percent of the state’s landmass, yet home to 3.7 percent of its population, the majority which live near or along I-84 in Hermiston, Pendleton, La Grande and Baker City. The region’s dominant industries are highlighted by animal and agricultural related employment, in addition to key transportation sectors.
The region as a whole experienced a less severe Great Recession than the state with job losses of approximately 4 percent compared with 8.5 percent statewide. The unemployment rate spiked as job losses mounted, but not quite to the same degree as the state. However the labor market recovery that began in 2010 stalled and the region has seen no net job gains in recent years.
Northeast Oregon experienced a severe early 80s recession that took 10 years to fully regain the jobs, however the 1990 and 2001 recessions had only minor impacts on local employment. The region took a hit during the Great Recession, however only about half as large as the state overall, but has yet to really gain momentum so far in recovery.
For more information on Northeast Oregon please see the great work the Employment Department does, including monthly analysis. Specifically see Region 12 and Region 13 for more details on their website.