Smoke from fire season impacted the local economy

Medford, Ore.- The smoke that filled the region over the last few weeks had a major impact on the economy. Job numbers are in for August and two industries clearly took a hit, those being leisure and hospitality.

Regional economists say job numbers for leisure and hospitality in August went down. Nearly 200 jobs were lost in both the leisure and hospitality industries.

Guy Tauer says that typically employment spikes in July but this large of a drop in August is unusual.
According to Tauer mother nature may be to blame.

“That was probably due to less people traveling. Canceling at the Shakespeare Festivals, some canceling at The Britt, and just people not wanting to be out and about in the smoke and the haze that was blanketing our area for so long,” Tauer says.

In August of 2016 the unemployment rate in Medford was 6.1 %. Last month, August of 2017 it was 5.1%.

Tauer says that he anticipates the number of jobs in leisure and hospitality will increase
this month.

NBC5 News Reporter Emily Biehl graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor’s degree in Television and Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Leadership Studies.

Emily interned at KNBC in Los Angeles and was a reporter and Executive Producer for Chapman News, Orange County's only live newscast. She also recently produced a documentary about homelessness.

Emily loves baking, spending time with family and friends and telling people what animals they resemble!

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