Douglas County’s payroll employers added 40 jobs in May and the unemployment rate stood at 6.5%, the same as in April, according to data released Tuesday by the Oregon Employment Department.

May’s job gains in the county followed a loss of 160 net jobs in April and a gain of 80 jobs in March. The county has gained back 59% of the jobs lost in March and April 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the private-sector industries in May, there was a gain of 80 jobs in leisure and hospitality, a gain of 40 jobs in financial activities, and a gain of 30 jobs in manufacturing, according to the employment department.

There was a loss of 20 jobs in professional and business services.

Government gained 100 jobs from gains of 60 jobs in federal government, 30 in local government and 10 in state government. When comparing May 2021 with May 2020 data, total nonfarm employment is up 1,770 jobs, or 4.9%. All major private industry sectors are up over the year.

General merchandise stores, a subcategory of retail trade, had a loss of 80. Douglas County’s unemployment rate of 6.5% is down from 12.4% in May 2020. The Douglas County rate has generally been tracking closely with the statewide and national rates. The Oregon unemployment rate in May was 5.9%, and the U.S. rate was 5.8%.

Scott Carroll can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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