Despite the holiday employment bubble, the Douglas County unemployment rate still ticked upward last month from 5.1 to 5.2 percent, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
Nationwide, retailers were expected to hire more than 700,000 seasonal workers for the holidays, the most since 2015, likely to prep for the $850 billion shoppers spent this holiday season, according to CNN.
However, even with the massive hiring trend, the small uptick in unemployment seen across the county is consistent with state and national figures. Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent while the nation’s rate crept up to 3.7 percent. The unemployment rate was marginally higher in Douglas County last November at 5.3 percent.
This year, from January to November, Douglas County added 420 jobs, a 1.1 percent annual growth rate with construction jobs leading the growth due to over $128 million in improvements being done, according to the Douglas County Building Department.
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One such improvement is the new Chevron going in on Garden Valley Boulevard that is in the beginning phases of construction. It is expected to open sometime next year.
On Diamond Lake Boulevard, Dollar General opened in Roseburg this month. That business, which sits on a half-acre lot, employed crews for construction and then provided retail jobs for a handful of people. The construction work was valued at about $1 million.
Remodels and improvements were also done this year in businesses such as the Garden Valley Grill and the Baymont Hotel, which both remodeled the entire interior and got paint jobs over the summer. The Garden Valley Grill remodel was valued at $16,000 and the owners of the Baymont Hotel invested more than $350,000 in the remodel.
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Other sectors that added jobs were leisure and hospitality, transportation, warehousing and utilities and retail trade. Financial activities, wood product manufacturing and information lost jobs.