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August unemployment rate of 3.8 percent down a tick from July numbers, number of unemployed drops

Oregon's August unemployment rate of 3.8 percent was the lowest since the state began record-keeping in 1976. It was a 0.01-percent improvement over July's unemployment rate, while the country's rate came in at 3.9 percent for both July and August.

The number of unemployed individuals dropped by 7,500 from 2017 and reflects a tight job market where applicants are getting snapped up by employers.

Last month non-farm employment grew by 900 new jobs, followed by construction with 800 jobs added and trade bringing in another 800 jobs. The retail sector saw a 700-job jump in August, but some of the gains were offset in the leisure and hospitality fields with losses of 1,100 jobs, and in government with 600 jobs lost.

Since August 2017, non-farm employment has grown by 42,000 jobs and construction added 11,400 jobs, the top sector in the state's economy. The other four major sectors that experienced large growth in the past year are manufacturing by 2.9 percent, professional and business services by 2.8 percent, leisure and hospitality by 2.8 percent and health care and social assistance by 2.7 percent. There were not any significant losses in government jobs over the past year, but the information sector saw a loss of about 200 jobs.

The employment numbers are based on a survey of businesses and the estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

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