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County unemployment rate drops 0.5 percent

Seasonal employment increases have cut into Jackson County's unemployment rate, according to a report from the Oregon Employment Department.

Numbers gathered by the Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicate the county unemployment rate dropped 0.5 percent to 5.3 during the last month. The rate was 5 percent at this time last year.

Oregon's unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent to 5.1 percent. Unemployment nationwide dropped the same amount to 4.1 percent.

A separate set of statistics collected by OED shows that the number of non-farm jobs in Jackson County rose by 880 in the last month.

More than half of that increase - 510 - was in retail trade, which includes auto dealers and service stations, restaurants and eateries, merchandise stores and grocery stores.

The non-manufacturing category as a whole, which includes retail, added 910 jobs over the last month. That was offset by a decrease of 30 in manufacturing.

Lumber and wood products, which includes logging, added 40 jobs this month but still remains 370 jobs short of their total last year at this time.

Federal, state and local government added 110 jobs in the last month. Their total is 480 less than what it was a year ago.

Increases this month are most likely due to typical seasonal fluctuations.