Unemployment rates in six rural Oregon counties rose above 15% this fall, with Crook County hitting 19%.
The unemployment rates are approaching Depression-era levels which topped out at 21.3% nationally in 1934, according to economist Robert Coen.
Unemployment grips southern and central Oregon in a stranglehold, choking economic recovery in regions that thrived during boom years.
"We're right back to where we were a year ago," said Carolyn Eagan, an Oregon Employment Department regional economist in Bend, where many residents feel they can't move away to find work. "We have people in Deschutes County who are just stuck, because they own a house and they can't sell it for what they owe on it."
The numbers released Monday's depict a state buoyed mainly by the Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge counties. Employment in those areas has kept statewide joblessness at 10.6 percent, but that's still among the worst in the nation. The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in September, adjusted for seasonal variations.
Read more at OregonLive.com.