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Unemployment rate remains unchanged
Klamath County rate for May of 11.4 percent unaffected by the addition of 590 jobsThe seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Klamath County remained unchanged in May, despite growth in the labor force and gains in the job market that exceeded expectations.
The May rate of 11.4 percent was unaffected by the addition of 590 jobs — 80 more than normal at this time of year.
With workers from outside the county entering the work force for seasonal jobs in the Forest Service and college students acquiring summer jobs, the amount of new workers in the county is keeping pace with the added jobs, leading to an unchanging jobless rate that doesn’t reflect positive signs in the economy, said regional economist Carolyn Eagan.
“Everything is heading in the right direction,” Eagan said. “We’re moving people from unemployed to employed, just not enough to move that seasonally adjusted rate.”
While the seasonally unadjusted rate has fallen from 11.8 percent in April to 10.5 percent in May, the adjusted rate takes into account historical data that reflects a pattern of bolstered employment numbers during the summer, meaning that it would take a substantial and abnormal deviation in employment figures to change the adjusted rate.
‘... a good sign’
“This happens every year in Klamath County,” Eagan said. “It’s not surprising that we’re adding people from the labor force, but it’s a good sign that they are coming back in because there’s been so much discussion that the reason the unemployment rate is going down is because people are leaving the workforce, and I don’t see that happening in Klamath County.”
With no significant job growth in Klamath County expected, the current unemployment rate will likely remain constant throughout the summer, Eagan said.
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