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State continues fast job growth in September as unemployment rate holds at 5.5 percent

Oregon added 2,400 new jobs in September as the state unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, state employment officials said Tuesday.

August’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent. A year ago, the state had a 5.7 percent unemployment rate.

Officials said most of the largest job gains were in local government and public schools, which added 3,300 new jobs last month. Professional and business services added 1,200 jobs. Wholesale trade added 1,000 jobs.

During the past year, the state has seen a job growth rate of 3.5 percent, much faster than the U.S. rate of 1.7 percent, state officials said. Since February 2015, Oregon has ranked among the top five states with the fastest job growth.

Oregon's labor force rose to 2.1 million in September, a gain of 95,000 peeople during the past 12 months.

Industries cutting jobs last month include construction (down 1,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (down 1,200), and financial activities (down 900).