PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ After a battering in the Great Recession and a slow recovery, Oregon’s job market is showing springtime vigor.

The state Employment Department said Tuesday Oregon added about 15,000 jobs in March and April, the largest two-month increase since 2005.

The department says that, compared to national trends, Oregon lost a larger share of jobs during the recession and was slower at first to regain them.

The department says Oregon is now adding jobs at a faster annual rate than the nation as a whole, 2.6 percent versus 1.7 percent.

Despite that, Oregon’s unemployment rate remains at 6.9 percent, because baby boomers are retiring and shrinking the workforce.

The percentage of Oregonians employed or looking for work is at its lowest level since comparable statistics began to be compiled, in 1976.