County's jobless rate improves slightly

Jackson County's unemployment status remained virtually the same in July as it was in June — nearly double the level of the summer of 2008.

Oregon Employment Department's sampling indicated job losses were no longer widening as they did during winter and spring.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate released today showed a decline from 13.5 percent in June to 13.2 percent in July. The county's total payroll employment fell by 2,230 jobs in July, mostly because of seasonal declines in the schools sector.

During the past 12 months, the county lost 3,300 payroll jobs as most industries showed employment declines. Those that did manage to add jobs over the year did so at a slow pace. In July, construction added 40 jobs, not enough to make a dent in the decline of 920 positions from a year earlier.

Retail trade posted a monthly gain, up 140 jobs from June. However, retailers are down 560 jobs over the past 12 months.

Josephine County's jobless rate slipped below 15 percent, according the Employment Department, to a seasonally adjusted 14.9 percent. Unemployment was 8.7 percent in July 2008.

— Greg Stiles

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