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State unemployment holds steady at 8.4 percent

Oregon’s unemployment rate was stalled at 8.4 percent in November, essentially unchanged from October’s 8.6 percent, as the state added about 600 jobs last month.

In November, 159,653 Oregonians were unemployed, nearly 12,288 fewer than in November 2011.

State employment officials said the private sector added about 1,400 jobs in November, but public sector jobs declined by about 800.

October’s job loss wasn’t as bad as first reported. The state said last month that 2,400 jobs were lost in October. That has been revised to only 800 jobs lost.

During the past year, the state has added about 18,700 jobs, with the private sector leading the way.

Holiday hiring in retail, through November, appears to be stronger than last year. Retail employed 197,200 in November, which was up 4,900 compared with November 2011. Clothing and accessories stores added the most jobs of the retail categories, as it was up 1,400 from last year.