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Employment in Oregon surpasses pre-recession levels

Preliminary figures from the state Employment Department say employment in Oregon has reached an all-time high, finally climbing above a peak reached in 2007 before the Great Recession took hold.

The Employment Department reported Tuesday that seasonally adjusted payroll figures for November climbed to 1.74 million, 3,000 greater than in December 2007.

The estimated number of jobs gained in November was 11,200 — the largest one-month gain since 1990, when comparable records started.

Those monthly figures frequently are revised later. On Tuesday, for example, the agency cut its estimate of 9,900 new jobs in October by 2,500.

Six sectors — retail trade, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality , construction, wholesale trade , and government — all gained more than 1,000 jobs, the report says. The gains, however, didn't change the Oregon unemployment rate, which has been hovering around 7 percent for months.

That's because as the economy improves, people who hadn't been looking for jobs rejoin the labor force, officials said.

— Staff and wire reports