Jobless rate won’t reflect freeze layoffs

THE DALLES – November’s COVID-19 freeze won’t be reflected in the unemployment rates for that month. Oregon Employment Department Regional Economist Dallas Fridley said that the jobless figures are based on a snapshot in time, not a whole month’s worth of data.

“Our employment estimates are based on the week that includes the 12th,” he said. “Our employment sample would be coming from a period where the closures were not in effect.”

Gov. Kate Brown’s freeze began Nov. 18 and ends today (Wednesday). That means it also won’t show up in the December figures unless employees who were laid off in November aren’t brought back when the freeze ended.

“I do think it will have a spillover into December for some industries, probably leisure and hospitality in particular,” Fridley said.

He singled out that industry because in many cases, winter is a time where that industry reduces its employee numbers unless they are among places that specialize in winter tourism.

Editor’s note: Dallas Fridley is a regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department. Based in The Dalles, he researches and reports on employment trends in Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam, Sherman, Wheeler, Wasco and Hood River counties.