Local Labor/TrendsThe State of Oregon Employment Department's job statistics for Southwestern Oregon can be found at on these monthly Southwestern Oregon Economic Indicators report. They also have a labor market information summary which highlights the county economic indicators and periodically publishes a county economic profile.
Overall, Oregon’s unemployment rate is now below the national unemployment rate. Curry County's unemployment rate as of December 2016 was 6.7%. With timber restrictions, the logging and mill industries have suffered a bit. The County is focused on nurturing economic development opportunities by stepping up tourism/marketing efforts, updating land use regulations to encourage economic growth, and exploring a variety of other options to spur new economic growth in Curry County.
The aging workforce has impacted the job market as well. With a new hospital in Gold Beach, and a new Veteran’s clinic and emergency room being built in Brookings, the outlook for medical related jobs is high. This is supported by the local Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS Plan) that predicted an increase in medical related jobs.
With the new fiber optic loop (see Infrastructure), the county should see more clinics and patients taking advantage of telemedicine as well, thereby allowing more doctors and professional staff to move to the Oregon Coast and work from the comfort of their ocean view home.
The South Coast Development Council, Inc. publishes a regional profile which addresses more detailed business and demographic information, such as business costs, housing costs, utility information, and other critical data to help businesses decide if the Curry Coast is the right place for them to relocate or expand their business. More specific Curry County data is below.
The Curry County Asset Inventory has a wealth of information specific to the Curry Coast. The inventory is from 2013, but is still viewed as a current and reliable information hub summarizing what the county has to offer businesses, as well as specific labor and industry data.
The U.S. Census Bureau tracks demographic data. Based on the 2010 census count and the projections of population growth, the county’s population is slightly above 22,713 persons as of and the median age is 53.5 years. Predominantly a white community, the county is seeing some diversity, albeit a slow growth of diverse races. Family households comprise 61% of all households; about half the population is married, and the average household size 2.12 persons.
Most residents are employed in educational services, and health care and social assistance jobs; arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services; retail trade; and public administration. Mean household income is $50,650. Families below the poverty level are below state average, and comprise 7.8 % of the population (compared to Oregon at 11.2%).
Because all the coastal cities are approximately 26 miles apart, most workers commute via a car or truck, but about 10% carpool, 7% walk (which is almost double the state average), and over 7% work from home (higher than the state average, likely due to the remote worker opportunities taking advantage of the broadband infrastructure). There is bus transportation available. Many Curry County residents commute south to Del Norte County, California, or north to Coos County, Oregon, and vice versa. It is not uncommon to live and work in a different county.