Oregon economists said the February Portland unemployment rate was 9.6 percent.

An estimated 118,400 area residents were unemployed and looking for work.

Over the past year, the area has gained 11,200 jobs, or 1.2 percent.

Governor John Kitzhaber on Thursday signed two pieces of legislation that will extend unemployment benefits up to 26 weeks for Oregonians who have exhausted all other options.

The state rate is just above 10 percent.

The state Employment Department says the state added nearly 10,000 jobs in February, the largest jump since before the Great Recession.

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