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Oregon's labor force rose above 2.1 million people for the first time, rising 40,000 in the first five months of 2017.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Education services helped lead the way in job growth last month, as Oregon's unemployment rate ticked down to a new 41-year low in May.Oregon added about 2,900 jobs in May, as unemployment dropped a new 41-year low of 3.6 percent last month.

Oregon's Employment Department reported Tuesday, June 13, that the rate dropped slightly from 3.7 percent in April. Those are the lowest the rate has been since the state began keeping records of the rate in 1976. A year ago, it was 5 percent. The national rate today is 4.3 percent.

State officials also said that for the first time, Oregon's labor force rose above 2.1 million people. It grew by 40,000 in the first five months of this year.

May's job gains followed the 6,800 jobs added in April. Gains last month were largest in construction, which added 1,600 jobs, manufacturing (up 900 jobs), educational services (up 800), professional and business services (up 700), and leisure and hospitality (up 700).

Only services (down 1,000 jobs) and information (down 600) lost jobs last month.

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