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Oregon adds 8,800 new jobs in August

Oregon’s unemployment rate ticked up to 8.9 percent in August as the state added about 8,800 new jobs last month.

The rate was 8.7 percent in July, when the state added 1,200 new jobs.

In August, 172,952 Oregonians were unemployed, about 14,868 fewer than in August 2011.

State economists reported Sept. 18 that in August, seven of the 10 major private-sector industries posted job gains of at least 600 new positions, while none showed a loss. However, government cut 400 jobs across the state.

Construction employment rose by 2,000 in August, 600 above the gain expected due to seasonality. Financial activities added 900 jobs in August, when a loss of 300 is the normal seasonal pattern. That sector was aided by record low home mortgage interest rates, which have spurred refinancing activity and employment at mortgage brokers.

Private sector educational and health services added 400 jobs during August, when a loss of 200 jobs is the norm. Educational services reached what is likely to be its low point for the year at 28,300 in August. The fall school term will boost employment in September. In August, these private-sector jobs, primarily in colleges and universities, were essentially equal to their total for August 2011.

Meanwhile, the private health care and social assistance industry added 900 jobs in August and was 1,400 above the jobs number from a year ago. During most of 2012, the job numbers for this industry have been uncharacteristically flat, state economists said, in contrast to the rapid and steady job gains during the prior eight years.

Hospitals have shown an overall pattern of job declines during the past 12 months, and were down 600 jobs from August 2011.

Government continued its slow overall job decline seen throughout much of the past four years, cutting 800 jobs in August, which was double the expected seasonal decline of 400 for the month.