State jobless rate hits 23-year high

SALEM — Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit a 23-year high of 9 percent in December, up from 8.0 percent in November.

December's rate is the highest since April of 1985 when it reached 9.1 percent.

In December, Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment declined by 9,700 jobs, following a drop of 8,400 in November. It was the fifth consecutive monthly loss of more than 4,000 jobs.

The only substantial gain for the month was in education and health services.

Construction cut 4,500 jobs, nearly double the 2,400 expected. Governments cut more than 4,500 jobs in December when the norm is about 2,900. Most government cuts were at the local level.

— The Associated Press

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