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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

January 12, 2015 at 10:42 AM

Tracking Oregon’s recovery, in one chart

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has produced this nifty chart to track how the state has recovered from the depths of the Great Recession using 39 separate indicators. As the chart shows, Oregon has recovered 100 percent in such areas as total jobs, state gross domestic product and exports. On the other hand, like most states, median household net worth hasn’t recovered at all.

orscorecard2

With its large durable-goods manufacturing and legacy timber sectors, Oregon was pounded much worse than Washington. In manufacturing, it lacked our cushion of Boeing beefing up employment to get the 787 Dreamliner on track.

According to Joshua Lehner, an economist in the office, “What Oregon and the nation have regained in recovery is not exactly the same as what we lost.” For example, while the state has completely regained the jobs destroyed in the downturn, “we have not regained the same jobs that we lost.” Broader middle-class jobs are only about 40 percent recovered. Employment in local government education (i.e. mostly teachers) is 10 percent recovered.

Lehner also cautions that a few of the measures are unlikely to make a pre-recession comeback. One example is the labor force participation rate, which has been falling nationwide.

For comparison, here is how the U.S. economy has performed compared with its pre-recession peak:

usrecoveryscorecard1


Today’s Econ Haiku:

How low can oil go?

At the Petroleum Club

Windows are sturdy


 

Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy | Topics: Oregon economy, Oregon unemployment

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