Oregon’s unemployment rate surged to 9% in December from 8% in November, the state Employment Department said.

The seasonally adjusted reading was the worst since April 1985 and 1.8 percentage points higher than the U.S. rate of 7.2%. Oregon’s jobless rate has risen by 3.6 percentage points in the past year, jumping from 5.4% in December 2007. The number of unemployed workers reached 174,819, the highest since January 1983 and a two-thirds increase over the past year.

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