Oregon's unemployment rate has fallen to 7 percent, and state economists say it's a sign of an economy accelerating out of what has been a sluggish recovery from the Great Recession.
The state Employment Department said Wednesday the jobless rate for December was the lowest in Oregon since August 2008, when it was 6.7 percent.
In November, the state unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. In December 2012, it was 8.3 percent. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
The agency said the state showed stronger job growth in 2013 than in the previous two years, adding more than 37,000. The year before job growth was at 22,000. 4,400 jobs were added in Oregon during the month of December.
Oregon's U6 measure of under-utilized workers is lower, at 15.7 percent. That, and the fact that 150-thousand jobs were lost at the outset of the recession are signs the state still has a ways to go before employment reaches pre-recession levels. 142-thousand Oregonians are working part-time.