Economy

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

http://defazio.house.gov/

Today (Monday), trade ministers from the United States and 11 other countries reached agreement on the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership. Oregon’s Congressman Peter DeFazio, however, continues to oppose it.

DeFazio issued a statement calling the TPP “the biggest, worst trade deal in history.” He’s been speaking against the TPP for years. If passed, it would phase out tariffs and other barriers to trade between the United States, Japan, Vietnam and others. In June, DeFazio said the TPP has the same problems as earlier policies, like the North American Free Trade Agreement:

Copyright, Boeing Co.

World War II marked a turning point for the city of Seattle. Boeing built thousands of B17 planes at a facility on the Duwamish River. At one point, 30,000 people reported for work there, assembling the planes that would help the allies defeat the Nazis. But with most of the young, white men overseas, Boeing was forced to expand its hiring criteria.

Chris Lehman

Starting October 1st, adults in Oregon will be able to walk into a medical marijuana dispensary and buy pot for recreational use.

Job Market Not Easy To Enter For Older Workers

Sep 27, 2015
AARP Oregon

Finding a job in today's market if you are over 55 isn't easy. Changing demographics and a surge of college-educated millennials competing for jobs mean older workers need to be on their game to be considered.

According to a report released by the AARP, workers age 50 and older value stability at work more, and are 40% less likely than younger workers to change jobs even if an opportunity comes up. Joyce DeMonnin is a Spokeswoman with AARP Oregon. She says employers' discriminating against hiring older workers is a real problem.

Lane County Adds Jobs in August

Sep 23, 2015
Oregon Employment Department

Lane County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly in August. It’s the first decrease after three consecutive increases.

Courtesy of Nyhus Communications

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with titans of Northwest commerce this week on their home turf: Think Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon. Visits from Chinese dignitaries are often accompanied by announcements of deals or sales.

Oregon Ranks Amongst Top States For Organic Exports

Sep 20, 2015
www.oregonorganiccoalition.org

Oregon ranks eighth in the nation for certified organic farms according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A recently released survey is showing expanded growth and an international interest in organic exports.

Karen Richards

Officials broke ground on a new affordable housing complex in north Eugene today (Monday). Phase two of Bascom Village will be sure to fill up quickly.

Near County Farm Road and Coburg Road, earth movers clear the ground for the second half of the Bascom Village community, which will have 48 units.

oregoneconomicanalysis.com

Oregon has been awarded a 3 million dollar grant to boost manufacturing apprenticeships.

The grant is part of $175 million from the U.S. Department of Labor. Securing the money was a collaborative effort between the Employment and Labor Departments, forming the Oregon-Apprenticeships in Manufacturing, or AIM, Program. Andrea Fogue is a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Labor. She says during the next three to four months, while the program is being set up, the state will work with community colleges and employers to get the money on the ground.

Karen Richards

Elected officials and Chamber of Commerce leaders gathered in Eugene today (Thursday) to recognize a company that's hired 250 people in just four months. FirstSource Solution plans to more than double that number in its next phase.

The Mumbai-based company signed a 10-year lease on the Chad Drive property. FirstSource provides online chat support for a large telecommunications company. Chris Autrey is the Site Director. He says even though the Eugene area has several other customer support centers, his company hasn't had difficulty finding workers:

theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Unemployment is up in Lane and Douglas counties. But as KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the numbers can be deceptive.

Both counties have seen increases in seasonally adjusted unemployment rates at the same time they’re *adding jobs.

Brian Rooney is a Regional Economist. He says the rate of joblessness can be volatile this time of year with schools out for summer break. People can come from outside the county to compete for available jobs. And, some employees just decide to quit.

Rachael McDonald

Members of Eugene's Silicone Shire gathered at the University of Oregon Tuesday to talk about opportunities in technology.

Will A New Casino Threaten A Tribe's Economic Base?

Aug 21, 2015
Ann McGarry / OPB

The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have made huge strides in rebuilding their culture after it was dissolved by the federal government during the 1950s. Revenue from their Spirit Mountain Casino west of Salem has allowed the tribe to build itself back up. But, the Grand Ronde worry that revenue is now under threat.

Simple white crosses dot the grounds. The brittle yellow grass crunches under foot.

“This is the tribal cemetery … This is one of the few places we had that were left with after termination.”

Oregon Employment Department

Oregon's unemployment rate jumped up to 5.9 percent last month. That's despite job gains over the past year.

The Employment Department said Tuesday the state added 4,600 jobs last month.
Nick Beleiciks is a state employment economist.

Beleiciks:  "Quite a few industries added a lot of jobs. Five major industries added at lease 1000 jobs with construction leading the way by adding 2,300 jobs, followed by professional and business services which added 1,700 jobs."

Jon Rosman / OPB

Residents of Junction City will get to vote on whether to allow the sale of marijuana in their town. The Junction City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to put the issue to voters in November 2016.

Rachael McDonald

The 5-thousand classified workers at Oregon's 7 public universities are negotiating with administration for a new contract. The old one expired in June. These are the people who clean classrooms, shelve books and cook for students.

"My name is Shawna Schultz, and I am a food service worker."

Schults works in Carson Hall, one of the U of O dorm buildings.

Schultz: "I supervise students. Teach them the rules of the kitchen and we service our guests and also maintain a very safe environment for our students."

KLCC

If you've always wanted to work for the TSA, now's your chance. The Transportation Security Administration is hiring full and part time workers at the Eugene Airport.

To be one of those people who runs the x-ray machine and pats down passengers traveling by air, you have to be at least 18. Applicants also must be high school graduates, American citizens, or U.S. nationals, and speak English proficiently.

Nico Melendez is a TSA spokesman out of Los Angeles. He acknowledges the job can be tough.

Oregon Unemployment Rate Slightly Up In June

Jul 23, 2015
Oregon.gov

Oregon’s unemployment rate of 5.5 for June is slightly higher than the national average. That’s according to numbers released by the state’s employment department. The jobless rate increased in Lane and Douglas counties as well.

The increase in unemployment in both counties is due to growth in the labor force. Regional economist Brian Rooney says when college students graduate in June, they’re added to the labor force. They’re also added to the unemployment rate.

www.envirodec.com

Wood product manufacturers in Springfield and Eugene now have preferential access to federal development funds. Local leaders head to Washington, D.C. tomorrow [Tuesday] to help advance their goals.

A Positive Indicator of Oregon's Labor Market

Jul 13, 2015
bradforddisabilityservices.uk.co

Oregon businesses are reporting a record number of job vacancies for the spring quarter this year.
That's according to Gail Krumenauer, senior economic analyst at the Oregon Department of Labor.

Krumenauer: "We've seen the greatest number we've ever found in the job vacancy survey this spring.  So 53,300 is a big number.  We also see that there's a substantial increase, 6,400 more vacancies this spring compared with last spring."

Rachael McDonald

Classified workers at Oregon's 7 public universities are bargaining with administrators for a new contract. Members of the Service Employees International Union rallied on the University of Oregon campus Thursday.

St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County

The waiting list for a new affordable housing complex in north Eugene opened Monday morning. According to Saint Vincent de Paul's Executive Director, people started camping out Sunday to be first in line for Bascom Village.

St Vinnie's Terry McDonald says in the 25 years his agency has been in the affordable housing business he's never seen such demand.

Oregon Looking At Record Blueberry Production In 2015

Jun 28, 2015
www.oregonblueberry.com

The Northwest is facing one of the earliest and most productive blueberry harvests in decades and Oregon is looking to become one of the top states for production. The early harvest this year is feeding an increase in consumer demand nationwide. Bryan Ostlund is with the Oregon Blueberry Commission. He says the international export market is also expanding quickly.

Karen Richards

At just about a year since its formation, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network or “RAIN” in Eugene is thriving.

RAIN Eugene is a collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce, the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and the University of Oregon. It strives to help startups launch and generate local jobs and growth. Sixteen companies have completed the program. Only a couple of those have closed. Most are looking for partners, funding or to hire employees. Chief Startup Officer Joe Maruschak (MARUSE-CHECK) says momentum is building.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

At high-end grocers in Paris or Tokyo, wild mushrooms flown in from the Northwest can fetch upwards of $100 a pound. That supply chain invariably begins on a dirty folding table on the side of a backwoods highway. In this second of two reports on the morel mushroom economy, Rowan Moore Gerety takes us to a buying station in the mountain town of Twisp.

City of Eugene

The City of Eugene has coordinated a pilot project to bring high-speed fiber optic cable to three buildings downtown. Two were connected last week.

Fiber optic lines already span much of Eugene. The schools, the city, and major medical facilities have it. But a lot of other fiber is “dark.” It hasn’t been taken from its source to people who would use it. The city spent 100-thousand dollars to help light some of the dark cable, hoping to attract and retain businesses downtown. Economic Development Planner Anne Fifield says it’s not just tech companies who can benefit:

Rachael McDonald

Whole Foods is finally coming to Eugene. Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday downtown.

Eugene Airport

This fall, Eugene air passengers will have a new nonstop flight option. Horizon Air announced today (Monday) they're adding daily direct flights to San Jose.

San Jose was identified over five years ago as an underserved market. A partnership between the Eugene Airport and several economic development groups secured a half-million dollar grant to help establish the new service. Dave Hauser is President of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce:

oregon.gov

Oregon officials are visiting the Dominican Republic and Panama as part of a trade delegation this week.

There are two industries interested in Latin American market expansion; Christmas trees and potato farming. The trade mission is being led by the US Department of Agriculture. ODA Trade Manager Julia Turner says Asia is still Oregon's top export priority, but reaching out to other markets is important as well.

Eugene, Bend Postal Plants Will Remain Open For Now

May 28, 2015
Portland Communities and Postal Workers United

The US Postal Service has announced that it will defer closing postal facilities in Eugene and Bend.

Bend and Eugene/Springfield were among more than 50 mail processing facilities nationwide originally slated to close this summer. For now, letters sent from Bend will still be processed in Bend, instead of being sent to Portland.

Peter Hass is a spokesman for the Postal Service.

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