Douglas County’s Relative Recovery After the Great Recession

by Kale Donnelly

May 4, 2017

Before the Great Recession, Douglas County’s employment levels peaked in September of 2006 at 40,510 jobs. While the official start of the recession was December of 2007, many rural areas throughout the state were starting to feel the leading effects of the recession beforehand. Current employment estimates show that Douglas County had 36,860 jobs as of March 2017, 93 percent of its pre-recession peak.
If we index the data we can observe how employment levels have changed. The method of indexing uses a specific base period, or rather beginning point of observation, and aims to show the relative change over time. In this instance, the employment levels of Coos, Curry, and Douglas counties have been indexed along with the State of Oregon to show the Southwestern counties’ relative change since January of 2007.

Douglas County’s employment is currently at 93 percent of its pre-recession employment levels. The other Southwestern counties of Coos and Curry are at 94 and 92 percent of their pre-recession employment levels, respectively. Once the index reaches 100 (100%) this will signify that employment levels are equal to their January 2007 values. Oregon surpassed its pre-recession employment levels in late 2014.

The recession hit the Southwestern Oregon counties early and stayed late, but full recovery lies ahead.

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