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October 2008 employment and business indicators

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Archives - January 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
All "latest" numbers are for October 2008 unless otherwise noted. Latest Month Previous Month Previous Year Annual Change
Total employment State of Oregon, thousands 1,840.7 1,849.4 1,845.5 -0.3%
Total unemployment State of Oregon, thousands 134.1 113.4 93.6 43.2%
Unemployment rate Ore. civilian labor force, seasonally adjusted 7.3% 6.4% 5.4% 190.0%
Portland/Van. MSA; Employed Six counties, thousands 1,101.4 1,101.9 1,101.9 0.0%
Portland/Van. MSA; Unemployment rate 6.4% 5.5% 4.6% 180.0%
Bend MSA; Employed Deschutes County, thousands 79.5 80.9 78.7 1.0%
Bend MSA; Unemployment rate 8.1% 6.7% 4.9% 320.0%
Corvallis MSA; Employed Benton County, thousands 41.3 40.2 41.2 0.1%
Corvallis MSA; Unemployment rate 5.0% 4.1% 3.8% 120.0%
Eugene/Springfield MSA; Employed Lane County, thousands 171.3 169.1 172.6 -0.8%
Eugene/Springfield MSA; Unemployment rate 7.5% 6.6% 4.9% 260.0%
Medford/Ashland MSA; Employed Jackson County, thousands 98.6 98.5 99.3 -0.7%
Medford/Ashland MSA; Unemployment rate 7.6% 6.7% 5.0% 260.0%
Salem MSA; Employed Marion and Polk counties, thousands 183.3 186.2 183.0 0.1%
Salem MSA; Unemployment rate 6.6% 5.5% 4.8% 180.0%
The Coast; Employed Five counties, thousands 87.1 88.7 0.0 -1.4%
The Coast; Unemployment rate 7.2% 5.7% 5.3% 190.0%
Central Oregon; Employed Eight counties, thousands 123.9 127.3 123.3 0.5%
Central Oregon; Unemployment rate 7.8% 6.5% 4.9% 290.0%
Eastern Oregon; Employed Nine counties, thousands 85.1 86.3 85.0 0.1%
Eastern Oregon; Unemployment rate 6.6% 5.8% 4.8% 180.0%
Help wanted ad count The Oregonian, Portland (November) 2,776 3,607 8,546 -67.5%
Help wanted ad count The Bulletin, Bend (November) 1,106 1,579 4,104 -73.1%
Oregon online job vacancies, total ads in thousands (November) 54 54 74 -27.1%
Portland online job vacancies, total ads in thousands (November) 34 36 54 -38.1%
New business corporations New filings (November) 672 855 849 -20.8%
Limited liability companies New filings (November) 1,488 1,934 1,917 -22.4%
Business bankruptcies New filings (November) 42 46 21 100.0%
Non-business bankruptcies New filings (November) 1,029 1,281 721 42.7%

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There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!

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