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Unemployment rate in the state at lowest point in eight years

Oregon added 9,900 new jobs in February as the unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in January, building on a decrease of 5.5 percent in December, the lowest it has been since June 2007.

A year ago, Oregon’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

Four major industries added jobs in January, according to state employment officials. Professional and business services added 2,100 jobs. Construction added 1,900 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 1,800 jobs and manufacturing added 1,700 jobs.

In the past year, Oregon has added 59,600 jobs. The fastest growing industries during the past 12 months were professional and business services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality and construction.

“Oregon’s labor market is as good as it was during previous expansions,” said Nick Beleiciks, state employment economist. “The unemployment rate is now lower than it was in most of the mid-2000s and nearly as low as in the mid-1990s. Oregon is adding jobs at a faster rate than during the mid 2000s, and the number of jobs added over the last year is on par with growth during the mid-1990s.”