Unemployment Numbers Strong for December and All of 2017

That's the lowest full-year total ever, handily besting the prior record - 4.9 percent unemployment in both 1995 and 2016.

The Employment Security Department also said that November's unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was really closer to 4.4 percent - a new low for unemployment in Washington.

New Hampshire's unemployment rate has been below 3.0% for 25 straight months. The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.1%.

The largest private sector job losses were in retail trade, construction, as well as leisure and hospitality.

The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for December clocked in at 4.5 percent, six-tenths of a percent lower than the prior year.

OR added 14,700 jobs in December, after dropping 300 jobs a month earlier, as the state's unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent. Health care and social assistance added 1,000 jobs.

Paul Turek, the state economist, credits steady growth for keeping unemployment down. A year ago at this time, it was 3.7 percent.

The state Employment Department calculates the unemployment rate based on the number of people drawing unemployment benefits - which requires them to seek work - and a survey of households by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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