This post continues with our regular series on the regions within Oregon. For more, see the regional tab at the top of the page.
The region varies considerably in both climate and industries as one heads east from the Cascades to the Idaho border in this southern swath of the state. To the west lies the majority of the population and nonfarm employment in Klamath. A large timber and related industries concentration in addition to tourism-related sectors play an important role and the county is home to the state’s only national park, Crater Lake. To the east the landscape opens up and the population becomes more sparse, until you hit the eastern edge of the state where another population base is located in Ontario in the Treasure Valley. Overall these four counties contain just under 3 percent of the state’s population, 35 percent of its landmass and nearly 15 percent of all agricultural sales and 8 percent of agricultural employment.
The region has undergone deeper recessions and/or taken a bit longer to recover than the state overall for each business cycle in the past 35 years. Today, the job losses from the Great Recession are now worse than at the same point point following the early 80s recession. This pattern over each business cycle is similar to those seen in Southern Oregon and the South Coast, as discussed previously. The one except being the severity of the 2001 recession due to large losses in Klamath — and related to the drought at that time as well. The only two regions to suffer tough economic times in 2001 in the state were the Portland Metro with its concentration in high-tech and Southeast Oregon. All other regions only experienced a minor hiccup in economic growth.
For more information on Southeast Oregon please see the great work the Employment Department does, including monthly analysis. Specifically see Region 11 and Region 14 for more details on their website.