A new study by the Oregon Employment Department projects Jackson and Josephine counties will see 13 percent job growth during a 10-year period ending in 2022, adding 13,000 jobs.

A new study by the Oregon Employment Department projects Jackson and Josephine counties will see 13 percent job growth during a 10-year period ending in 2022, adding 13,000 jobs.

However, the report released Wednesday said many of the those jobs would be in retail and food service — generally lower-wage jobs.

The Employment Department said most of the job growth — 12,040 jobs — would come from the private sector, with another 1,030 jobs in government.

The projected growth rate exceeds the 2.7-percent growth seen during the past decade. Beyond the new jobs, the report suggests nearly 23,700 job openings will be created by retirement and other staff departures.

"No one can know with certainty what the future holds," said Guy Tauer, a regional economist with the Employment Department. "But these are our educated guesses about what the future employment growth in the Rogue Valley looks like."

"If you look back at our prior projections, we certainly didn't forecast employment to grow only by 2.7 percent between 2002 and 2012. At the time, we had forecast employment growth over the decade at 15.6 percent. So those past trends and projections clearly did not pan out. The Great Recession left those previous projections rather in ruins."

Rogue Valley construction is projected to grow 19 percent from recent levels, adding 660 jobs. Even so, it will not return to the level seen prior to the real-estate bubble and resulting recession.

"I think it is a bit of a surprise to see that even with construction forecast to grow by 19 percent, gaining 660 jobs over the decade, that employment will not return to 2006 employment levels even by the year 2022," Tauer said. "This shows how much of a bubble there really was in construction and housing-related employment during the employment ramp-up prior to the Great Recession.

"So far, we haven't seen much of that 19-percent growth. But projected population growth, future in-migration and pent-up demand will eventually cause resumption of a more vigorous construction and housing market in the Rogue Valley. Older housing stock will eventually need remodeling or replacement, creating demand for construction employment."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/EconomicEdge.