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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
Page 4 of 5Despite many of the more pessimistic factors coloring the coming year — and not considering any major unexpected events, such as the Japanese tsunami that rippled through the world economy in 2011 — the overall outlook still calls for very modest economic growth in the U.S. and in Oregon in 2012 of about 2% to 3%. The prospect of another recession has some economists, like Duy, worried. Others are a little more optimistic if still a bit wary.
“We are pretty much two years into this recovery,” Potiowsky says. “I don’t believe that we’re going to fall back into a recession, but this slow, agonizing growth is going to be with us through 2012.”
In Oregon, there are several bright areas that have not only done well in recent times, but are likely to continue to remain strong in the year ahead. The state’s exports are almost back to their pre-recession level and in 2010 were up more than 18% over the prior year. Exports of computer processors and integrated circuits from the likes of Intel continue to top the list by far, but other exports, such as aircraft parts, scrap metal and wood, have all increased as well. That growth could taper a bit in 2012, but it should still remain strong.
Manufacturing has also seen some uptick as well. According to the Oregon Employment Department, there were 167,500 manufacturing jobs in Oregon in September 2011, an increase of almost 4% over last year. At the end of October, Daimler Trucks North America announced it was hiring 350 new factory workers and 75 people for its Portland headquarters after sales of its heavy trucks increased. Similarly, Precision Castparts, a Portland manufacturer of metal parts for the aerospace and other industries, announced a surge in second quarter sales and plans for new hiring in the near future. Intel, too, has surged ahead with construction of its new research facility in Hillsboro, which will employ up to 8,000 construction workers over the next two years and create 800 to 1,000 new jobs when it opens in 2013.
“A lot of our leading traded sector companies are more bullish by the day,” says Ryan Deckert, president of the Oregon Business Association. “They are expanding, not retrenching. It’s more like the late 1990s.”
Deckert, who met with officials from Facebook in October to talk about their investment in Oregon and their operation in Prineville, says the state’s apparel cluster — comprising companies like Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Keen and Icebreaker — shows no signs of slowing down.
“The customers are out there, and [the companies] are winning the battles with the competition everywhere,” Deckert says. “Our sports apparel companies are just really good. Customers from around the world have choices, and they like our brands.”
Leisure and hospitality jobs have been on the rise, and Potiowsky says some pent-up consumer spending might continue to help that sector in 2012. That’s good, Duy notes, but the flip side is that those jobs are relatively low-wage.
Although housing is down and will continue to be in 2012, there have been some gains in multi-family housing as the demand for rental units has increased.
“We’re seeing a little bit of life in new apartment construction,” Cortright says. “It’s small, but it’s something.”
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK
The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland-based startup ImpactFlow recently announced a $5.7 million funding round. CEO and co-founder Tyler Foreman talks about matching businesses with nonprofits, his time at Intel and the changing face of philanthropy.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS
Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.