An analysis of dismal employment figures released today suggests that Oregon’s economy “had a serious relapse,” according to the Oregon Center for Public Policy. Figures released today by the state employment agency show that non-farm payroll in Oregon fell by 900 while unemployment increased to 7.4 percent. The Silverton-based public policy institute noted that this is the first increase in an August unemployment rate since August 2001.
“We’re now 45 months and counting since Oregon’s downturn began,” said Charles Sheketoff, executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, referring to the time since November 2000, when employment peaked in Oregon. “It took us only 20 months to pull out of the previous recession in the early 1990s,” he noted.
The Oregon Center for Public Policy, a non-profit research institute in Silverton, reviewed the new jobs numbers and found that Oregon has 21,000 fewer jobs than November 2000, before Oregon started losing jobs.
Sheketoff noted that there’s been a 5.8 percent growth in the working age population since jobs last peaked in November 2000. “If Oregon’s job growth had kept up with the growth in our working age population since November 2000, we’d have 114,000 more employed Oregonians than we have today,” said Sheketoff.
“No matter how you view the numbers, it is perfectly clear that Oregon’s economy had a serious relapse last month,” said Sheketoff.
“This is one more example of how the Bush Administration’s ‘Jobs and Growth’ tax cut has failed Oregon,” Sheketoff noted. “Oregon’s unemployed people need public investments that create jobs and help maintain families in times of hardship, not tax cuts for the wealthy,” he added.
The Oregon Center for Public Policy uses research and analysis to advance policies and practices that improve the economic and social opportunities of low- and moderate-income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians.