Jackson County's jobless rate remained a seasonally adjusted 12.3 percent in May, due partially to a smaller work force.

Jackson County's jobless rate remained a seasonally adjusted 12.3 percent in May, due partially to a smaller work force.

According to the figures released by the Oregon Employment Department, the county's May's civilian labor force dropped by 179 people from April to 101,707. It was also 530 smaller than the 102,237 on the books in May 2009.

While there were 700 fewer jobs than in May 2009, 800 were added between April and May, spurred by typical increases in leisure and hospitality sectors and the federal government hiring Census workers.

"I think employers are really hesitant to add on permanent staff members because they are not sure how strong the recovery will be," regional economist Guy Tauer said. "Soft consumer spending, debt troubles in Europe and the handling of an ever-increasing U.S. budget deficit is making people increasingly nervous and it shows up in the hiring numbers. Employers are waiting to see evidence of a more robust upturn in the economy."

— Greg Stiles