Economy

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

econforum.uoregon.edu

Economic indicators recently released by the University of Oregon show the state are showing improvement. October employment data was stronger in all areas except natural resources and mining sectors.

Manufacturing was particularly strong during the fall, suggesting the State is on par with national growth trends. The household sector is also stabilizing after years of negative data. Tim Duy is Director of the Economic Forum at the U of O. He says employment services, or temp resources are on the rise.

Kitzhaber Unveils $18.6 Billion Spending Plan

Dec 1, 2014
Chris Lehman

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has unveiled an $18.6 billion spending plan for the next two years. The Democrat outlined his proposal at the state capitol Monday. Roughly half of the money is marked for education. Kitzhaber says his budget also includes tax relief for low-income workers.

John Kitzhaber: "To ensure that hard work is actually rewarded with a better life…to ensure that when you get more wages, when your income goes up, you actually have more money, not less money in your pocket."

Wikimedia Commons

Chances are your utility bill has gone up this year. One small part of the reason may be that you’re paying for electricity that was never generated.   Northwest electricity customers got saddled with more than $2.5 million in payments for power they didn’t use.

Oregon experienced its largest one-month hiring boost in nearly 20 years in October. The Oregon Employment Department says 9,900 jobs were added. Still last month's unemployment rate remained flat at 7 percent.

David Cooke is an economist with the state Employment Department

Cooke: "We're seeing rapid employment growth, both from the payroll employment survey and the household survey. They're showing the same thing. But it looks like the labor force is expanding as more and more people jump into the labor market."

Bridge Meadows

Helping children in poverty needs to start with their parents. That's according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. There are approximately 126 thousand Oregon children under age 8 living below the poverty line. Most of their parents don't have a higher education degree and many don't have year round work. Children First for Oregon Spokeswoman Tonia Hunt says the State needs to work on ways to improve the family budget.

seagrant.oregonstate.edu

Roughly 90% of the fish consumed in the U.S. is imported. Half of that is farmed fish, a practice known as aquaculture farming. Compared to neighboring Washington, California, and Idaho, Oregon produces less than 6% of the total value of aquaculture products.  Jerry Gardner is a Business Developer for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says increasing aquaculture production could be an economic boost for the state.

wikipedia.com

Postal workers in Springfield and across the country are protesting today (Friday). It’s the last day the Board of Governors can vote to stop the closure of 82 facilities across the country.

The Springfield mail processing center is scheduled to be fully closed by next July. Peter Hass is a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. He says the closure has been in the works for years, because of the steep decline in first class mail. Hass says the consolidation is part of a nation-wide service standard change:

wikipedia

Too early for holiday cheer? Not for Oregon’s 100-million dollar Christmas tree industry. November is the growers’ peak time for shipping. They’re taking extra measures this year to be sure fewer trees are rejected due to pests.

Oregon is the nation’s largest producer of Christmas trees, exporting six to seven million annually. Gary McAninch is with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says some Oregon species of slugs and yellow jackets cause big problems in places like Hawaii:

Households needing help on their winter heating bills can apply for assistance beginning Monday. Federal funding has been released to the states for the low income energy assistance program, or LIHEAP.

Mary Ellen Bennett is the LIHEAP Coordinator for Lane County. She expects about 8,000 households will receive assistance this year, which is on par with last year. Bennett says several factors determine how much help is given:

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

Maybe you remember those glossy Red Delicious Washington apples they served in your grade school cafeteria. Well, Washington growers are expecting a record crop of apples this year, but not of Red Delicious. Most American consumers have moved on and growers are doing their best to keep up.

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