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State gains jobs in April as unemployment rate drops to 8 percent

Oregon added about 3,700 jobs in April as the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 8 percent, from 8.2 percent in March.

State employment officials said Tuesday that April’s job gains were in the leisure and hospitality industry (up 2,600 jobs), manufacturing (gained 1,200) and other services (up 1,100). Those gains were partially offset by a drop in construction (down 1,200 jobs).

Revised estimates for March show a gain of 1,300 jobs, when a gain of 1,900 was initially reported.

In April, 150,576 Oregonians were unemployed, about 19,955 fewer than in April 2012.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that construction employment rose by only 1,700 in April, when a gain of 2,900 is the normal seasonal movement. The weak showing followed strong gains in February and March.

The construction industry has added 1,400 jobs since April 2012, but at 68,100 jobs in April 2013, it was still well below its record April high of 101,500 reached in April 2007.

Manufacturing was expected to add 500 jobs in April due to normal seasonal factors, but added 1,700 instead. This better-than-expected reading put manufacturing back on track with its moderate recovery seen during the prior three years. Seasonally adjusted employment in manufacturing stood at 175,800 in April, which was well above its low point of 162,100 in late 2009.