Robust December caps strong jobs year for Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s unemployment rate fell slightly in December as employers added more than 14,000 jobs.

The state Employment Department said Wednesday that no major industry substantially cut jobs in the last month of 2017. Industries adding a lot of jobs were construction, manufacturing and leisure and hospitality.

Oregon’s unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 4.1 percent — down from 4.2 percent in November.

It capped a year in which Oregon’s jobless rate hit several record lows before inching higher. For 2017, the state’s annual average unemployment rate was 4 percent. That is Oregon’s lowest annual rate since comparable records began in 1976.

The next-lowest mark was 4.9 percent, set in 1995 and 2016.