Oregon unemployment rate ticks down but job losses mount

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The monthly Oregon employment numbers show the state lost nearly 8,000 jobs in September, ending a half-year string of monthly job gains.  

The state Employment Department said Tuesday the unemployment rate is 8.7 percent, essentially unchanged from the previous month. The rate has ranged between 8.4 percent and 8.9 percent since January.  

Last month, the department said employers created 8,800 jobs in August, the sixth month of job gains.  

In the seasonally adjusted statistics from September, the private sector eliminated 5,500 jobs, the public sector 2,400.

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