Local report

Jackson County employment figures continued to rise in November, with nearly 1,900 more people employed in the month this year than in November 2016. Unemployment fell to 4.8 percent, down from 5.6 percent in the prior year.

The total payroll employment increase was slow in November versus October, however, with a boost of only 110 jobs. With the onset of winter, the "usual culprits" pulled the numbers down, according to a press release from the state of Oregon Employment Department. Construction employment fell by 90 jobs, and leisure and hospitality shed 480 jobs in November. Mining and logging employment also fell by 40 jobs.

The increase came from an expected place, as seasonal hiring contributed to the retail industry’s gain of 580 jobs. Private education and health services employment rose by 110 jobs over the month, 60 of those in the health care and social assistance sector.

Professional and business services lost 110 jobs in November. In government, an increase of 110 jobs in local education and 40 in state government was offset by a loss of 50 federal government jobs.

Over the past year, Jackson County gained 1,860 payroll jobs, a growth rate of 2.1 percent. According to the release, industries with notable increases over the year were private education and health services (660), retail trade (410), professional and business services (400), manufacturing (350), construction (340), and leisure and hospitality (190).

Since November 2016, government employment fell by 610 jobs. Local government lost 460 jobs and the federal government dropped 40 jobs over the year. About two-thirds of the losses in local government were in the education sector.

In Josephine County, total payroll employment fell by 230 jobs in November, putting the unemployment rate at 5.4 percent, down from 6 percent for the month in the year prior.

The largest number of new private sector jobs in Josephine County came from private education and health services (plus 190) and financial activities (plus 100). Government employment added 120 jobs since November 2016, with the increase coming in the local education sector.