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SALEM -- State officials say Oregon's unemployment rate continues to edge down as employers reported cutting fewer jobs than is typical in January.

The state Employment Department said Tuesday the jobless rate for January was 8.8 percent, down from 9.0 in December.

The department's monthly report said that on a seasonally adjusted basis, Oregon gained 5,400 jobs in January -- the largest single-month gain since the previous January.

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What that means, the report says, is that 33,000 jobs were cut, when the normal reduction in nonfarm payroll employment would be 38,400.

There have been gains, but with a caveat.

Machinery manufacturing reached a low of 9,300 over the past 24 months and there were 11,000 jobs last month. Computer and manufacturing had 35,000 workers through most of 2009 and 2010 and was at 36,500 last month.

There was also an increase in fabricated metal employment, up to 14,900 last month, but well below its peak of 18,000 in 1998.

The department also said its annual process of revising employment numbers showed that the Oregon economy was modestly stronger than originally reported in late 2010 and somewhat weaker than originally reported during much of 2011.

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