Logging remains vital to rural Oregon

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Archives - June 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008

THE HISTORY CHANNEL’S Axmen series has drawn a spotlight to Oregon’s logging industry. Although it can be dangerous – logging occupations ranked third in 2006 fatality rates at 82.1 deaths per 100,000 ­­­— and though employment dropped more than 30% due to mechanization and environmental concerns since the early 1990s, the industry is still important. As of 2007, 90% of Oregon’s 7,100 logging jobs were located outside of the Portland metropolitan area. At $39,695 in 2006, the industry’s annual average wage was above the all-industry average of $38,070, making logging a valuable source of income for rural areas. But after a period of relative stability beginning in the late 1990s, employment dropped 500 since 2005, this time in response to slower home construction. Projections show the industry declining by 3%, or 200 jobs, between 2006 and 2016. However, an estimated 1,500 replacement openings, due largely to retirements, will provide opportunities for some new loggers.

BRIAN ROONEY
Worksource Oregon Employment Economist

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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.

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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!

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