economy

Evangelina Sundgrenz

A handful of citizens were out gathering signatures and raising general awareness for increasing Oregon's minimum wage Saturday in downtown Eugene. It was part of a statewide effort by the Fair Shot for All Coalition with similar efforts taking place in Portland, Salem, and Bend. Regional Outreach Director Laurie Trieger says raising the minimum wage is an issue that resonates with working women and minorities.

Lane County used to be the center of motor home manufacturing in Oregon, employing about 4,500 people. Then the recession hit. Only one of the RV makers survived. Marathon Coach announced Tuesday it plans to increase production and hire more workers.

Oregon is preparing for the economic impact of legal recreational marijuana, following the passing of Measure 91 by voters. KLCC's Desmond O'Boyle interviews Troy Dayton, CEO of a research group who publishes economic projections for business owners and entrepreneurs.

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.

www.oregon.gov/consumer.businessess

Oregon's workers' compensation costs have dropped for a second straight year. The Department of Consumer and Business Services announced last week costs will decrease an average of 5.3% in 2015.

The Department approved the decrease in Oregon's "pure premium," which is the price employers pay insurers to cover anticipated workers compensation costs. Department of Consumer and Businesses Spokeswoman Lisa Morawski says in the last few years the state, private businesses, and insurance companies have focused on improving workplace safety and health.

U of O News

The big data conversation comes to Eugene this weekend. The U of O is hosting a “Big Opportunities with Big Data” meeting Friday.

According to the International Data Corporation, this year, the world will store over two zettabytes of data, or the equivalent of 36 million years of HD video. If those numbers are hard to comprehend, that’s the point. It’s hard for traditional analytical methods to deal with. Andy Berglund is Dean of U of O’s grad school. He’s been giving a lot of incoming freshmen the same advice:

Hiring Our Heroes

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting a “Hiring Our Heroes” event for veterans and their spouses in Roseburg Wednesday.

The job fairs for vets were launched three years ago. As a result, more than 1,500 companies have hired about 23,000 veterans and military spouses, according to the Chamber of Commerce. Spokesman Phillip Maas, who retired from the Army after a 25-year career, says Wednesday’s event in Roseburg will have a variety of employers.

Meeting Date: May 30th, 2014
Air Date: June 2, 2014

Last summer, the Oregon legislature approved $3.5 million seed funding for the South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN). RAIN’s goal is economic development for our area, which is slowly making the transition from a dependence on natural resources to a knowledge-based economy.

Recorded on: May 16th, 2014
Air Date: May 19th, 2014

City Club members and guests will hear about the future of economic development in Lane County with one of the most experienced experts on the subject on May 16. State Representative John Lively will discuss the history and the future of the Lane Metro Partnership. He will relate some success stories and provide an update on the group’s status.

Angela Kellner

Since the great recession, job security has been elusive. One bright spot is the health care field. Lane Community College in Eugene offers training programs to help students land well-paying jobs in the health care industry, including dental care. Lane recently opened a new dental clinic on Willamette Street where students can learn by treating patients.

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