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Jobless rates drop slightly in Lake, Klamath
by ELON GLUCKLICH, Herald and News 1/26/12 
Klamath County’s unemployment rate dropped one-half of a percentage point in December, data released Wednesday by the Oregon Employment Department shows.

But that drop came as the county’s labor force shed 330 jobs between November and December, amid growing evidence that job seekers are getting more discouraged and dropping out of the labor pool, said employment department regional economist Carolyn Eagan.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 11.9 percent in Klamath County, down from 12.4 percent the month before.

But the decline has a lot to do with labor force participation,” Eagan said. “There’s a lot of worker discontent. Lots of people retiring . Lots of people going back to school.”

Holiday gains

No job sector saw employment gains of more than 10 workers between November and December, based on employment department estimates. About 70 construction jobs were lost over that time, and 50 retail jobs.

The retail job loss was especially concerning, Eagan said. December often brings a spike in retail job numbers, as businesses hire extra staff for the holiday season.

“I thought that retailers were a little bit more optimistic, but it looks from the numbers like they were not expecting to need a lot of people,” Eagan said. “That part was surprising and disappointing for me.”




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