Jackson County's jobless rate declined slightly in October, falling to a seasonally adjusted 9.5 percent, down from 9.6 percent in September and 10.6 a year ago.
Figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate local, state and federal payrolls expanded.
There were 89,363 people on the job during October — fewer than in either September or the previous year — but the labor force declined by 3,725 people, the bureau estimated.
Nonfarm payrolls advanced 2.3 percent to 79,720 in October, tacking on 1,830 new employees since October 2012.
Retail hiring picked up during the month as stores geared-up for holiday shopping activity.
Total payroll employment rose by 990 jobs in October with retail accounting for 270 new positions. State government education related to Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College beginning classes at the end of September added 460 positions, while local government education tacked on 750 jobs.
Financial services saw an increase of 30 jobs, while building projects in downtown Medford bolstered construction, which saw a pickup of 20 jobs. Health care and social assistance each also reported 20-job gains.
The end of tourism season saw leisure and hospitality employment shed 330 positions, with 260 of those spots coming from accommodations and food services. Professional and business services saw an 80-person decline, while manufacturing companies lopped off 30 jobs.
— Greg Stiles