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Oregon Unemployment Rate Lowest Since August 2008

(Oregon Public Broadcasting) — New numbers out Tuesday show Oregon's unemployment rate continued its gradual decline in February, falling to a seasonally adjusted 6.9 percent That's the lowest it's been since August of 2008.

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employers in Oregon added 2,900 jobs last month, marking the 8th consecutive monthly gain in seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll employment. Two thirds of those jobs were in the private sector.

State employment economist Nick Beleiciks says like last year, job growth in 2014 has been strong.

"It's a much different story than early on in the recovery where we saw job growth, but it was a very weak recovery. Now we're seeing the sort of job growth that as economists we'd like to see coming out of a recession," says Beleichiks.

Still, he says long term unemployment continues to be relatively high.

Roughly a third of those who are unemployed have been without work for more than 6 months. And Beleiciks says among those who have found jobs, there's still roughly 144,000 Oregonians who want full time work, but have been unable to find it.

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