MEDFORD, Ore.– While construction crews continue to finish the expansion on the north Medford Wal-Mart, job hopefuls like Sarah Svensson are hoping to land one of the 200 new openings.
“I’ve been looking for a job for several years actually. I’ve applied at lots of places, had a couple of interviews, but nothing really worked out,” said Svensson.
She said it’s hard to find a job because it seems like so many people are looking for work and so few places are hiring.
“It’s really difficult because there’s so few available and everyone is looking, it really does make it hard because there very limited places you can apply,” said Svensson.
Employees from the north Medford Wal-Mart moved to the south Medford location. With the north location wrapping up a year-long remodel and expansion, new employees are needed, even more than the number that worked there before.
“It typically is about 40 percent increase on our sales so it’s about a forty percent impact on our business,” said north Medford Wal-Mart store manager John McBride.
The most recent unemployment statistics have Jackson County at more than 9% unemployment, compared to 8% in oregon and 7.5% nationally.
Economic analysts say there are signs of a turn around.
“The recovery has been very, very slow and it’s still very slow for Josephine county and in Jackson county, a couple of industries have shown some very solid growth, but we need all industries to be active in hiring,” said economic analyst Ainoura Oussenbec.
Experts say the retail industry is one of the most important in southern oregon in creating jobs.
“The retail industry is among the top three largest employers in our area,” said Oussenbec.