PORTLAND — Oregon's unemployment rate has risen nearly another percentage point, to 9.9 percent, as the state's economy sinks faster than the nation's as a whole.

The state Employment Department released the January figures today. It says the unemployment rate hasn't been so high since January 1984, when it hit 10 percent.

Jackson County's unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in December, the latest county figures available.

The state agency says Oregon's unemployment rate has long been higher than the national average but now is surpassing it at a faster rate.

The total number of jobs fell by 14,600 — about 200 more than were lost in the previous month, when the unemployment rate jumped a full percentage point, to 9 percent.

— The Associated Press