Jackson County unemployment rate dips, but still highest in state

    Jackson County's seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to a five-year low of 9.3 percent in November, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    It was down from 10.5 in November 2012 and 9.5 percent a month ago.

    Employment grew by 150 jobs in November, bolstered by retail employment and holiday-related shipping hires.

    There were 490 additional retail jobs during the month and 60 more in transportation, warehousing and utilities.

    However, construction employment faltered, dropping 200 jobs during the month, while leisure and hospitality operations shed 320 jobs, with accommodations and food services accounting for about half of the losses.

    On a statewide basis, the Medford Metropolitan Statistical Area, taking in all of the county, had the highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, just ahead of Bend's 9.1 percent figure. Salem posted a 7.9 percent jobless rate, followed by Eugene, 7.2 percent; Portland, 6.7 percent; and Corvallis, 5.4 percent.

    On a year-over-year basis, Jackson County has show a 2.4 percent employment gain, producing 1,900 new jobs. Guy Tauer, a regional economist with the Employment Depart, noted only Bend's 3.1 percent growth exceeded the pace of additional jobs.

    — Greg Stiles

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