MEDFORD, Ore. — Both Jackson and Josephine counties added jobs in March, according to the latest numbers from the Oregon Employment Department, though the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact the job market overall.

OED said that Jackson County added 1,760 jobs in March, most of those coming from the leisure and hospitality sector as eased COVID-19 restrictions allowed for indoor dining to resume. 

“This is giving consumers more impetus to resume some pre-pandemic activities and some businesses confidence to continue adding jobs,” the agency said. Jackson County also saw gains in construction, education and health services, and manufacturing.

Over the past year, Jackson County lost a net 2,690 jobs — a drop of 3 percent. Those losses came from a number of different sectors, though leisure and hospitality accounted for the biggest drop.

In neighboring Josephine County, recovery has been slower but pandemic impacts were also less severe. In March, OED said that the area gained 270 jobs, with leisure and hospitality again accounting for the biggest increase. Josephine County lost a net 680 jobs over the past year, a drop of 2.5 percent.

“Leisure and hospitality accounts for nearly one-half of the county’s jobs losses since March 2020,” OED said. “A few industries are now showing over-the-year job gains in Josephine County.”

OED said that it plans to release April unemployment rates and job data at the end of May, with statewide numbers coming a week earlier.