Curry County lost 50 jobs in 2006, a 0.7% decline. Since the mid-1990s, the county had only one other annual decline, a 1.1% drop in 2002, followed by job growth between 2.4% and 4.7% during the next three years. In 2006, construction posted an 80-job gain and manufacturing gained 30 jobs. But high gas prices throughout the summer travel season kept hiring in leisure and hospitality below 2005 levels. Additionally, the county felt job losses in retail trade and finance. Things may get even tougher if Congress fails to reauthorize legislation providing timber payments to the county. As a result, Curry officials will ask voters for a multi-million dollar local-option property tax to replace lost funds. According to one county commissioner, it would be difficult for the county to grow out of its fiscal woes. Only 1.4% of the county’s developable land is unimproved and could be used to build more homes to add to the property tax base.
— Guy Tauer, regional economist
WorkSource Oregon Employment Department