“Oregon’s labor market is as good as it was during previous expansions,” said Nick Beleiciks, Oregon’s state employment economist. “The unemployment rate is now lower than it was in most of the mid-2000s and nearly as low as in the mid-1990s. Oregon is adding jobs at a faster rate than during the mid-2000s, and the number of jobs added over the last year is on par with growth during the mid-1990s.” Read the full release here.
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released the latest quarterly economic and revenue forecast.
Highlights from the summary:
Oregon’s economy continues to make significant gains. Job growth has slowed just a bit from early 2015 rates, yet remains more than strong enough to bring the unemployment rate down and account for the influx of new workers as population growth picks up. More importantly, Oregon’s stronger-than-the-nation’s wage gains have continued through the fall. Overall, the state has regained and retained its traditional economic advantage in expansion relative to the nation. Job growth over the past year in Oregon is more than one percentage point faster than in the typical state. This advantage is primarily due to the state’s industrial structure and migration trends, both of which remain strong today.
Today, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its latest quarterly economic and revenue forecast.
Josh Lehner, senior economist at the OOEA reports on some of the findings in the latest blog, including indications that point to another recession before decade’s end.
This economic expansion just celebrated its sixth birthday. In true-to-form fashion, the party included decent-but-not-great job gains and steady-but-subdued GDP growth. As such there are few signs from the U.S. economy that the expansion is about to end anytime soon, even if growth has been lackluster overall following the financial crisis. However, all expansions do end and the economy is more likely closer to its next recession than not. This is especially true as storm clouds are gathering offshore in the form of a stronger U.S. dollar, weaker global growth and a significant and potentially worrisome slowdown in China.
The Oregon economy is at full-throttle growth. Jobs and income are increasing as fast, if not faster than during the mid-2000s. Given demographic trends, such rates of growth are considered full-throttle. As in past expansions, Oregon has regained its traditional growth advantage relative to other states. Much of this advantage can be attributed to the state’s industrial structure and strong in-migration flows. More important are the indications that Oregon is seeing a deeper labor market recovery. Wages for the average Oregon worker are increasing quicker than in the typical state, and above the rate of inflation.
While growth rates, and the trajectory of the economy have improved considerably, Oregon is not yet fully healed from the Great Recession. The largest economic concern today is the participation gap – the difference between the share of the population with a job or looking for work and what the rate would be when operating at full strength. The improving economy is and will pull workers back into the labor force, helping to support future economic growth at the same time.