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State unemployment rate lowest in two decades

Oregon added about 4,300 jobs in February, as the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent, the lowest it has been in 21 years.

State employment officials said Tuesday that the unemployment rate dropped from 5.1 percent in January. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

Oregon's employment grew by 4,300 in February, following a gain of 9,300 jobs in January. During the past two years, the state has added about 100,000 people to its labor force, hitting a high of nearly 2.1 million people in February.

Several of the state’s major industries added jobs during the past year. Construction added 1,900 jobs in February and gained 4,200 since February 2015. Professional and business services added 1,400 in February and 11,700 in the past 12 months. Health care and social assistance added 1,400 during the month and 9,200 for the year.

Three major industries cut jobs in February: private educational services (down 1,500 jobs), manufacturing (down 700) and other services (down 600).