Near record-high gold prices are drawing growing numbers of cash-strapped Oregonians to the state’s pawn shops with items ranging from the sentimental — pocket watches — to the odd — gold nuggets and dental crowns.
What a difference a year makes. A year ago, Portland-based heavy equipment manufacturer Esco was surging along on strong prices for metals and oil as well as emerging markets in India and China. Not any more.
Oregon’s new workplace smoking ban is a big reason why lottery and video poker sales in bars and restaurants dropped 20% in January and 15% in February compared to the same time last year, according to the Oregon Restaurant Association.
It wasn’t that long ago in Oregon when hard-rock mining with a pick axe was a common line of work, when crews of immigrants competed for work laying railroad tracks, when farmers harvested wheat by hand and loaded it into horse-drawn carts.
- Portland list-o-phrenia
- Graphic: Minority population growth 2000-2008
- Hoping for a playoff payoff
- Graphic: U.S and Oregon electricity generation
- Growers predict abundant labor
- Focus turns to green building efficiencies
- Graphic: Composition of state and local business taxes
- Retaliation claims rise along with pink slips
- January '09 transportation indicators
- January '09 real estate and construction indicators
- January '09 farming, natural resources and energy
- The vast underground economy grows in Oregon - and globally