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Oregon continues to show strong employment gains, but raises remain hard to come by


SALEM, Oregon — Oregon's unemployment rate has fallen significantly again, amid signs that businesses are becoming quick to hire but remain slow to grant raises.

The state Employment Department said Tuesday the jobless rate dropped half a percentage point in February, to 5.8 percent.

The agency says the number of long-term unemployed people continues to fall.

The number of workers in part-time jobs who would rather work full time has also fallen.

Nonfarm payroll employment was up again in February, by 2,400. That's the smallest increase in the past half year, though.

And wage gains are slim, according to the agency's figures: Over the past twelve months the average private sector wage gains amount to about 18 cents an hour, or .8 percent.

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