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Jobs growth spikes in Oregon; March increase largest since before the Great Recession

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SALEM, Oregon — Oregon state economists say March saw the largest one-month increase in jobs since well before the Great Recession.

The news came Tuesday in the monthly report on jobs and joblessness.

It put the state's unemployment rate at 6.9 percent, actually a tenth of a percentage point higher than the revised February figure.

But changes so small aren't regarded as statistically significant, and this one is likely due to people re-entering the labor pool as job prospects brighten.

The state Employment Department said Oregon gained 7,500 jobs in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest one-month increase since November 2005, when 9,300 jobs were added.

The report followed one on Monday from the department suggesting that rapid growth has led to a tighter labor market, tending to push up wages.

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