Unemployment rate dipped even though some jobs were shed

Jackson County's payroll dropped by 70 jobs, yet the seasonally adjusted jobless rate ticked down marginally to 9.1 percent from 9.3 percent in November.

Figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed nonfarm payroll employment fell to 79,900 last month from 79,970 in November.

An aging population, discouraged workers and young people staying in school longer all contributed, said Guy Tauer, an economist with Oregon Employment Department.

"We're seeing a combination of all those factors," Tauer said. "We're seeing lower participation rates across the state as well. The labor force includes people who are not institutionalized in jails or facilities that are part of the population 16 and older looking for work or who are employed. That number continued to edge down through the recovery; it's an interesting phenomena."

The good news would be in the year-over-year numbers.

In December 2012, the revised jobless rate for Jackson County was 10.4 percent. Figures released today show an additional 2,120 people were on payrolls last month.

Josephine County saw its seasonally adjusted jobless rate fall below double-digits to 9.9 percent from 10.2 percent in November. It was 11.6 percent a year ago.

— Greg Stiles

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