Oregon unemployment drops below 9 percent

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's unemployment rate has dropped below 9 percent for the first time in three years.

State officials said Wednesday that 8.9 percent of the labor force was looking for work in December, an improvement from 9.1 percent the month before. The unemployment rate hasn't been that low since November 2008.

But officials say the total number of jobs has remained relatively flat for 10 months. Adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, Oregon employers added about 2,400 jobs in December after losing 1,100 the month before.