Jobless rate ticks up

Job losses in wholesale and retail trade sectors and a reversal in health care and social assistance employment growth had a negative impact on Jackson County employment in June.

Although there were 290 more people on nonfarm payrolls than in May, according to the Oregon Employment Department, a growing labor force pushed the jobless rate up as Southern Oregon followed state and national trends.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Jackson County was 11.4 percent, up from May's 11.1 percent figure, but down from June 2010's 12.7 percent reading. In Josephine County, the seasonally adjusted rate was 12.5 percent, up from 12.2 percent in May, but much lower than the 14.3 percent rate a year earlier.

Retail trade dropped 60 positions, wholesale fell by 30 jobs. Health care and social assistance, after seeing solid increases in recent months, lost 160 employees.

On the growth side, leisure and hospitality picked up 250 positions, including 210 in accommodations and food services. Government units added 170 jobs in June, including 110 at the state level and 40 in local governments. Construction and manufacturing sectors added 130 jobs between May and June.

In the past 12 months, retail trade has gained 460 positions, health care is up 230 employees, as is the leisure and hospitality sector. Professional and business services also reported a 130-person gain. However, construction employment has plummeted by 130 positions, while the information sector is off by 40.

— Greg Stiles

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