Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Jumps a Full Percent…Wonder Why

By March 22, 2009Economy

From the Portland Business Journal, “Oregon’s unemployment rate nears 11 percent“:

Oregon’s unemployment rate increased to 10.8 percent in February from 9.8 percent in January, according to data released Monday by the Oregon Employment Department.

That’s more than 2 percent points higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent.

Oregon now has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, behind only Michigan (11.6 percent).

From the Bend Bulletin, December 31, 2008, “Economic boon or burden? Business owners say the timing is bad; others say it’s a way to fight recession

Oregon’s minimum wage — already one of the highest in the nation — increases from $7.95 to $8.40 per hour on Thursday, and while a boon to some workers, the new rate likely means higher prices for food, gas and other services.

“More money helps with everything,” said Schaun Johnson in between his duties pumping gas at the Texaco station on Northwest Galveston Avenue in Bend. Johnson, who recently moved to Bend from the Willamette Valley where he worked as a millwright, said getting by on minimum wage isn’t easy and that any wage increase is “very” appreciated.

We cited that story in a year-end’s blog post from Oregon, our home state, “As We Bid Farewell to 2008 …and Oregon.” The minimum-wage increase is only part of the problem. Unfortunately, Oregon has been in a two-decades long downward economic spiral, self-induced starting with the conscious decision by the environmental movement and elected officials to kill off the timber industry.

Earlier Shopfloor.org posts on Oregon’s economy:

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Karl says:

    I don’t think the minimum wage is a very good barometer for unemployment. Looking at statistics will show you that South Carolina, which has no state minimum wage (federally mandated at $6.55 per hour where applicable) has a higher unemployment rate than Oregon at 10.4% (In January). Do you have an explanation for that or was it just convenient to use the new minimum wage scale?

    Washington’s wage is the highest at $8.55 and yet their unemployment is pretty much the national average at 7.8%



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