2012 was off to a good start, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
State economist, Nick Beleiciks, says more people are working in manufacturing, education, health services and the financial industry.
Nick Beleiciks: "The monthly job gains was really large. It's the largest we've seen in the last year. 54-hundred jobs in January. The last time we had a one month gain like that was last January. So that was a nice surprise."
The regular unemployment rate does not include workers who've given up looking for a job, or people who are working part-time but would like full-time jobs. That rate, known as the 'U-6' rate, stands at 17-point-1 percent. That's substantially higher than the national 'U-6' rate of 15-point-1 percent. But it's less than 20 percent -- which is where Oregon's 'U-6' rate stood at this time last year.