Oregon's jobless rate drops below 4 percent, lowest since 1976

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's unemployment rate has plunged to less than 4 percent.

The state Employment Department said Tuesday the March jobless rate was 3.8 percent, the lowest mark since comparable records began in 1976. The unemployment rate at this time last year was 4.9 percent.

The agency says government, manufacturing and professional and business services enjoyed strong job growth last month. Construction has been the fastest-growing sector over the past year, adding more than 8,000 jobs.

Another unemployment measure, known as U-6, fell to 8.6 percent in March — down from 9.1 percent in February and 10.4 percent a year ago. The figure includes discouraged workers who stopped looking as well as part-time workers who want but can't get full-time jobs.

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