PORTLAND -- The Portland Metro area s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to slowly decline.

Latest statistics released by the Oregon Employment Department found that the rate was 8.8 percent in May. Just one month earlier, the rate was 9.1 percent in April.

In May 2010, the Portland Metro unemployment rate was 10.6 percent.

Approximately 101,700 area residents were unemployed and looking for work in May; 21,600 fewer than one year earlier, according to a press release from Regional Economis Amy Vander Vliet.

The press release also said that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment declined by 900 jobs following a gain of 2,600 in April. Over the past year, the metro area has gained 9,500 jobs, or 1.0 percent.

Meantime, a recent survey conducted by the Oregon Employment Department found that around 40-percent of private Oregon employers surveyed plan to hire new workers in the next six months.

More: Survey finds Oregon employers hiring in next 6 months

Most of those employers who plan to hire will do so to replace workers leaving as part of routine turnover or to hire seasonal workers. But 15% of the companies surveyed said they planned to expand their business.

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