Oregon Unemployment Drops to Five-Year Low - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Unemployment Drops to Five-Year Low

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Oregon's unemployment rate fell in October to a five-year low. Oregon's unemployment rate fell in October to a five-year low.

PORTLAND, OR - Oregon's unemployment rate fell in October to a five-year low. 

The jobless rate in Oregon fell to 7.7% last month, down from 7.8% in September, and 8.1% in August.

The state Employment Department released the numbers Tuesday after a one-month hiatus caused by the federal government's partial shutdown.  

State economists say the number is a sign of an economic expansion gradually accelerating in Oregon.

Experts say a significant factor is additional construction jobs - up 9.3% year over year. The sector has rebounded sharply after the Great Recession and a slow recovery.

Also contributing to the lower rate, is the shrinkage of the state's labor force - down in October by nearly 49,000 from the same month in 2012.

The department says its measure of labor force participation has dropped to 61.2%, the lowest since the department started tracking it in 1976.

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