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Readers more optimisitic about economy

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

What industry will be the top employers in Oregon in 10 years?

Health care 60% 69% +9
Recreation/tourism 51% 57% +6
High technology/software 45% 48% +3
High technology/hardware 45% 41% -4
Professional services 33% 35% +2
Food processing and agriculture 24% 33% +11
Education and social services 32% 31% -1
Nursery products 20% 25% +5
Biomedical 35% 24% -11
Apparel and sporting goods 29% 21% -8
Forest products/wood/paper 20% 19% -1
Financial services 17% 19% +2
Creative services 13% 15% +2
Transportation equipment 8% 4% -4
Metals 3% 4% +1

Let’s not call it irrational exuberance, but there is a definite optimism being felt by the 913 respondents in our three-part Input survey about the state of the economy, business health and personal financial stability.

This month, the survey, conducted by research partner Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, explores our readers’ take on the economy’s strengths and weaknesses. In May, we ask how their own businesses are doing; in June, we get insight into their personal financial situation.

“The big surprise to me is that there aren’t any big surprises,” says Jay Clemens, president of Associated Oregon Industries, the state’s largest business association, about the survey’s results. “Business is pretty good right now.”

What also is unsurprising to Clemens is that the overwhelming concern of this group is unfavorable government regulations. Oregon is a strong manufacturing state, and those industries are heavily influenced by the regulatory environment, he notes.

So while the economy might be good now, “it works in cycles,” reminds Clemens. The AOI constituency is “concerned about over the long term being able to continue to provide the kind of economy that makes people feel good about their quality of life.”

What’s most important from his vantage point? Keeping the regulatory environment competitive and having a good labor pool.

“Regulations add on costs,” says Clemens, “It’s a huge concern for us in making Oregon competitive in attracting new businesses and keeping businesses. Oregon isn’t an island.”

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To participate in the Input survey, send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Research conducted by Conkling Fiskum & McCormick.



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