Ore. jobless rate unchanged at 8.4 percent

Oregon jobless rate unchanged at 8.4 percent; job growth weakens in last part of 2012

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The state says Oregon's unemployment rate was unchanged last month as job growth ground nearly to a halt in the last third of 2012.

The jobless rate for December was reported Tuesday at 8.4 percent. A year earlier, it was 9 percent.

The state Employment Department said preliminary estimates showed the state added 2,000 jobs in December.

But such estimates frequently change. The agency said Tuesday that revised estimates showed a loss of 900 jobs in November when preliminary estimates had showed a gain of 600.

The agency said that given small job losses from September, October and November, the December gains meant employment was nearly flat in the last four months of 2012 — in contrast to a gain of 20,000 jobs in the first eight months.

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