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OR Economy: Up?

UO Index of Economic Indicators

Looking back over the past five months, it is incredible to see how Oregon’s economy has improved.

Just this past week, the University of Oregon released their report of economic indicators. The range of an economic index is 1 to -1. The average, zero, is indicated by the growth rate from 1990 to 2013. States’ reports are based off of many factors such as, manufacturing hours, unemployment claims, building permits, stock prices, manufacturing orders, etc. Oregon’s index report shows an increase from -0.65 to -0.46. Ironically, Oregon was forecasted to not make any improvements this upcoming year, but rather stay consistent.  Oregon’s manufacturing sector has been forecasted to make a positive impact on the economic index. In the past, Oregon’s housing sector was not one of success; however, in 2012, it was showing an increase. This increase peaked toward the end of 2012 and has so far remained stable. Due to the increase in residential construction, it would be very unlikely for an economy to slip into a recession.

UO Index of Economic Indicators

UO Index of Economic Indicators

Although this doesn’t seem great, Allen Cunnington, who lost his job in the beginning of the recession in 2008, says that he can already see a huge difference as to where [Oregon] was just a couple of years ago.  Cunnington has picked  up small jobs here and there since he lost his job in the corporate world, but is currently working in construction. He has never stopped observing the trends of the economy and has based his temp jobs based on his own personal observations. His current work in construction may be the last temp job he will hold if there continues to be an increase in residential construction.  He never wanted to be part of the unemployment rate, and has never filed for unemployment. Cunnington says he will continue to work temp jobs until the economy can sustain him as a full time employee.

Since the recession, it has been difficult for the Oregon to turn any economic growth into jobs. Although we have a high unemployment rate, this rate is stable and shows the potential for a turn around. Pete Doubleday, managing partner at Ernst & Young LLP, has tried to take advantage of Oregon’s improvements. Ernst & Young is currently the smallest of the “Big 4” accounting firms in Portland, but has plans to increase the number of employees by 7%. He hopes but doing this, unemployment rates will go down and economic growth continues to improve. Not only will it lower the unemployment rate, but hopefully it will spark other aspects of the economy into improvement and growth.

As this year’s graduating class goes out in search for a future career, Doubleday says to not be weary. He appears to be very optimistic as to where Oregon’s economics will go. There are no trends of major corporations having huge layoffs which are a very good sign for anyone looking for a more stable job. Cunnington also advises that any graduate looking for a job should not feel belittled with an entry level position. Starting small and building up your skill set, regardless if it is in your field, is beneficial for any successful businessman.

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