Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.
Topic: Oregon economy
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August 27, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Washington’s unemployment rate in July was 6.9 percent but across the Columbia River the rate stood at 8 percent. Oregon continues to struggle out of the Panic of 2008. The economic indices compiled by the University of Oregon (the latest shows June) indicate that none of the state’s region’s have fully recovered. Metro Portland is doing the best, while the Rogue Valley and Salem are faring worst.
The recession was especially hard on the state for several reasons: Its heavy exposure in manufacturing, continued reliance on forest products and a real-estate bubble in Bend. As I wrote before, the ills in Portland risk being overstated. The Brookings Institution’s Metro Monitor shows Portland doing fairly well from the trough of the downturn to June — the exception is job creation. But the rest of the state faces a much harder slog. (To be sure, 14 other states have worse unemployment rates, including South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina).
One other telling metric: From 2010 through July 2012, Oregon’s population increased by only 1.8 percent. In Washington, the rate of increase was 2.6 percent.