County unemployment holds steady

Jackson County's jobless picture looks about the same today as it did a year ago or a month ago, for that matter.

Oregon Employment Department seasonally-adjusted figures for October released this morning show Jackson County's unemployment rate at 13.3 percent. It was 13.4 percent in September and 13.2 percent in October 2009.

Oregon's statewide unemployment rate remained 10.5 percent, while 11 counties — led by Crook County's 18.6 percent figure — had a higher jobless rate than Jackson County.

In neighboring Josephine County, the seasonally adjusted employment figure was 14.5 percent, down slightly from 14.8 in September and close to the 14.6 mark recorded in October 2009.

Both Jackson County's workforce and nonfarm payroll employment grew in October, with 190 more people on payrolls than a year ago. However, the Employment Department indicated there were nearly 3,800 more people in the workforce than a year earlier.

Between September and October, Jackson County payroll employment rose by 1,390 jobs, propelled by seasonal increases in retail trade, along with gains in state and local government and education.

Retail added 650 jobs locally during October as consumer spending showed signs of life, regional economist Guy Tauer said. Health care and social assistance showed a 60-job rise.

Construction dropped by 40 positions and manufacturing lost 30 workers. Business and professional services employment also saw 60 slots disappear from the previous month. Tauer said the biggest contributor to job losses were seasonal reductions in leisure and hospitality with 320 positions going away

— Greg Stiles

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