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Oregon unemployment drops to 7.3 percent in November

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in November, from 7.6 percent in October. It was Oregon’s lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, when the rate was 7.2 percent.

Rapid declines in Oregon’s unemployment rate during the past three months have put Oregon’s rate closer to the national rate, which dropped to 7 percent in November.

Oregon’s unemployment rate is declining primarily because the number of unemployed is dropping. In November, there were 130,896 Oregonians unemployed, compared with 156,298 a year earlier.

In November, the state added 5,400 jobs, which was the 12th month of job gains out of the past 14 months, according to state employment officials. Retail trade accelerated hiring as food stores, auto dealer, and holiday hiring were all strong.

Last month, retail trade added 2,200 jobs above normal seasonal expectations. In November, retail employed 201,500, which was 5,900 above November 2012, according to state officials.