Oregon unemployment rate drops to record low

ASSOCIATED PRESS: The state’s jobless rate dropped to 4.5% in March.

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A total of 1.94 million Oregonians were employed in March, an increase from 1.84 million at this time last year when the jobless rate was 5.7 percent, the State Employment Department statistics indicate.

Meanwhile, the job gains led to rising wages, with the average pay rate for private sector payroll employees jumping to $24.45 an hour last month, an increase of more than a dollar from a year ago.

“Businesses are raising wages to attract the help they need, and it’s working because people are flocking to Oregon’s labor force,” said Nick Beleiciks, state employment economist.

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