According to the Oregon Employment Department, Oregon State University is the largest organization in the Benton County. Economists say with a university in a small town, there’s more of a need for employment in other industries, such as restaurants.
Benton County sits at a 6.5 percent unemployment rate, half of Crook County’s 12 percent. But the low rate doesn’t mean that the unemployed aren’t suffering.
“I was caregiving for my sister until she passed,” said Amy Wilson, who is unemployed. “And that was a few years ago. And then I worked at a gas station for a little bit, but there weren’t very many hours and it wasn’t worth it to make the commute to go.”
Wilson says even though there is a lower unemployment rate in Corvallis, it is still hard to find work.