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More People Getting And Keeping Jobs

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Unemployment rates continue to drop in Lane and Douglas counties. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks with a regional economist about the growth trend and what it means for communities.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Lane County is the lowest since June of 2008. Douglas County is trending about the same, seeing its second consecutive month with job growth.

Brian Rooney watches tracks employment in both regions. He says growth brings a mixed bag of benefits.

Rooney: “It looks good for your community and also it might be an incentive to look for a better job, look elsewhere. One thing that’s happening is the labor force is tightening and employers may not have the pick of employees that they had during and coming out of the recession.”

In other words, good people are going to be harder to find as the unemployment rate drops.   

From the numbers, Rooney gleans where employment growth is based. For example, retirements create opportunity through replacement openings. And new government projects in Junction City and Eugene will create jobs in the construction sector. In Douglas County, manufacturing and service industries are adding jobs at a steady clip.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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