PORTLAND -- The unemployment rate in the Portland Metro area has dropped since this time last year, but it s virtually unchanged since the start of 2012.

The area s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February is 8.1 percent, according to statistics compiled by the Oregon Employment Department. In January 2012, the rate was 8.3.

That means an estimated 103,100 residents in the Metro area are currently unemployed and looking for work, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

In Feb. of 2011, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in Portland.

Across the state, Oregon's economic recovery got rockier in February, with employers hiring fewer workers than they generally do at this time of the year, the state Employment Department said Tuesday.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state actually shed more than 6,000 jobs in the month, while the unemployment rate stayed at 8.8 percent -- 13th highest in the nation.

Normally in February, Oregon employers would add about 13,000 to payrolls, according to the Employment Department's statistics. Overall, they added only about half that amount. The result, on a seasonally adjusted basis, is a loss of 6,400 jobs. The large losses were surprising, said the state's labor economist, Nick Beleiciks.

More: Oregon statewide jobs report gloomy

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