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Jefferson County unemployment edges upward

August figures

   Jefferson County unemployment rate edged slightly upward in August from July, moving to 13.6 percent compared to July's 13.5.
   The August figure was an improvement over the jobless rate of August 2010, which was 14.5 percent.
   The county lost 80 jobs in August. Typically the county loses approximately 50 jobs this time of year, according to the monthly report issued by the Oregon Labor Department's Central Oregon office.
   Leisure and hospitality was the only private-sector industry to post job gains last month (10 new jobs). The public sector lost 50 jobs in August. Manufacturing reported the largest over-the-year job loss.
   While the jobless rate has improved from last year, the total number of jobs in the county has not. This past August, Jefferson County had 210 fewer jobs than in August 2010. The improved unemployment rate in the face of fewer jobs would indicate that, over the past year, more unemployed people have left the area, or are off unemployment benefits, than there have been jobs lost.
   The jobless rates in Crook and Deschutes counties was essentially unchanged from July through August as well, but both were down from August 2010. Crook County's August rate was 15.6 (15.7 in July, 17.9 in August 2010) and Deschutes County's unemployment figure for August was 12.7 (12.7 in July as well, 14.6 in August 2010).