Ore. jobless rate barely budging in the short term

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point over the past year and now is down about three percentage points since its peak during the Great Recession.

The State Employment Department said Tuesday the jobless rate was 8.5 percent in April. That's only a tenth of a percentage point lower than in the previous month -- not statistically significant. The sluggish economic recovery has brought a number of similar monthly reports.

Officials say job growth in recent months has been about normal but not enough to make a significant dent in the number of unemployed people, about 169,000 in April.

Construction was prominent among economic sectors showing strength in April after weakness in the previous two months. On a seasonally adjusted basis, construction companies added 1.700 jobs.