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Oregon’s Jobs Grow at Fastest Pace Since 2005, State Says

Oregon added jobs in March and April at the fastest pace in eight years, driven by growth in professional and business services along with health care, according to a state report.

The state added 15,000 jobs in March and April, the biggest increase since 15,100 were added in the last two months of 2005, according to data released yesterday by the Oregon Employment Department.

“The rapid growth over the past two months reflects an accelerating pace of economic expansion,” the department said in a statement. “Oregon is still behind the U.S. in returning to pre-recession employment levels because Oregon lost a larger share of jobs during the recession.”

Oregon, home to sporting-goods companies Nike Inc. and Columbia Sportswear Co., had an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent in April, slightly above the nationwide rate of 6.3 percent that month. The state ranked third in improvement in economic health for the year through December, behind Nevada and Washington, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States. The index measures mortgage delinquencies, personal incomes, tax revenue, employment, home prices and stock values.

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