December employment holds steady

A few more Jackson County residents found jobs in December, according to Employment Department figures released today.

Local payroll employment saw little change during the month, but posted a net gain of 280 jobs from the end of 2009. That pushed the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate down to an estimated 12.5 percent from 13.5 percent in November. The December 2009 rate was 12.6 percent.

Retail trade gained 260 jobs, as the holiday hiring season hit its yearly peak, while health care and social assistance continued steady improvement, growing by 40 jobs. Manufacturing picked up 80 jobs. Over the previous 12 months, retail trade is up 320 slots, while professional and business services are 150 jobs to the good with health care and social assistance 140 employees ahead.

On the flip side, construction remained in its protracted malaise, shedding 110 more jobs and trails its year-end 2009 level by 320 positions. Leisure and hospitality is off by 90 jobs and financial activities lost 60 positions.

In neighboring Josephine County, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 13.9 percent in December — the same as it was a year earlier — and down from 14.6 in November.

— Greg Stiles

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