Oregon’s unemployment rate dipped below eight percent for the first time in more than four-and-a-half years.
The Oregon Employment Department announced that May’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent.
“With the unemployment rate going down below eight percent starts bringing us back into pre-recession level of unemployment,” said Nick Beleiciks, a state employment economist. “The recovery that has been going on is really starting to take hold and looks like we’re getting near to the end of the effects of the recession.”
The state also adjusted April’s rate down to 7.9 percent. Before that, the last time Oregon’s unemployment rate was below 8 percent was in October 2008. Estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate nonfarm payroll employment rose by 3,800 jobs in May.
Employment in construction increased the most, climbing by 1,600 jobs. The trade, transportation and utilities industry also added more jobs, but manufacturing dropped.
Beleiciks said that the latest job rate represents eight consecutive months of job growth.
Oregon’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the U.S. average, which is 7.6 percent.