Oregon economic indicators as of October 2009

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Articles - January 2010
Tuesday, December 01, 2009

All "latest" numbers are for October 2009 unless otherwise noted. Latest Month Previous Month Previous Year Annual Change
Total employment State of Oregon, thousands (November) 1,747.3 1,749.3 1,826.8 -4.3%
Total unemployment State of Oregon, thousands (November) 211.4 206.7 152.9 38.3%
Unemployment rate Ore. civilian labor force, seasonally adjusted (November) 11.1% 11.2% 7.8% 3.3
Portland/Vancouver MSA; Employed Seven counties, thousands 1,046.5 1,043.6 1,106.8 -5.4%
Portland/Vancouver MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 11.6% 11.5% 6.8% 4.8
Bend MSA; Employed Deschutes County, thousands 72.2 73.2 74.7 -3.3%
Bend MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 15.4% 15.6% 9.8% 5.5
Corvallis MSA; Employed Benton County, thousands 39.3 38.2 41.8 -6.0%
Corvallis MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 7.8% 7.5% 5.3% 2.5
Eugene/Springfield MSA; Employed Lane County, thousands 165.0 162.2 171.3 -3.7%
Eugene/Springfield MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 12.0% 12.0% 8.1% 3.9
Medford/Ashland MSA; Employed Jackson County, thousands 91.1 91.5 96.6 -5.6%
Medford/Ashland MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 12.4% 12.3% 8.8% 3.6
Salem MSA; Employed Marion and Polk counties, thousands 174.2 176.4 183.4 -5.0%
Salem MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 11.6% 11.3% 7.4% 4.2
The Coast; Employed Five counties, thousands 83.8 84.9 88.1 -5.0%
The Coast; Unemployment rate 10.6% 9.8% 7.1% 3.5
Central Oregon; Employed Eight counties, thousands 115.1 118.1 119.6 -3.8%
Central Oregon; Unemployment rate 12.5% 11.9% 8.1% 4.4
Eastern Oregon; Employed Nine counties, thousands 83.5 84.2 85.2 -2.0%
Eastern Oregon; Unemployment rate 9.3% 8.8% 6.6% 2.7
Help wanted ad count The Oregonian, Portland (November) 1,470 1,592 2,776 -47.0%
Help wanted ad count The Bulletin, Bend (November) 897 895 1,106 -18.9%
Oregon online job vacancies, total ads in thousands (November) 43.7 41.2 53.2 -17.9%
Portland online job vacancies, total ads in thousands (November) 30.7 28.5 33.7 -8.9%
New business corporations New filings (November) 766 838 855 -10.4%
Limited liability companies New filings (November) 1,930 1,892 1,934 -0.2%
Business bankruptcies New filings (November) 36 51 42 -14.3%
Non-business bankruptcies New filings (November) 1,456 1,608 1,029 41.5%
Trucking Weight-mile tax receipts, millions $20.6 $16.1 $22.4 -7.9%
Shipping Port of Portland, total containers load and discharge 13,406 12,413 21,458 -37.5%
Shipping Port of Portland, number of calls by oceangoing vessels 40 43 70 -42.9%
Airline travel, PDX Passengers, thousands 1,056.8 1,079.4 1,128.8 -6.4%
Airline travel, Eugene Passengers, thousands 60.7 62.5 57.0 6.4%
Airline travel, Medford Passengers, thousands 52.0 52.0 49.1 5.9%
Airline travel, Redmond Passengers, thousands (November) 37.7 37.2 35.7 5.6%
Portland-area homes New listings (November) 3,443 3,599 3,605 -4.5%
Willamette Valley Multiple listing sales, millions $122.8 $127.4 $113.6 8.1%
Central Oregon Multiple listing sales, millions $125.5 $114.2 $91.6 36.9%
New Oregon single-family homes 483 527 470 2.8%
New Oregon multiple-housing units 200 4 293 -31.7%
Wheat price No.1 soft white, at Portland, per bushel (November) $4.89 $4.67 $5.23 -6.5%
All farm products Farm price index (1990-1992=100%) (November) 144 135 156 -7.7%
All crops Farm price index (1990-1992=100%) (November) 155 145 171 -9.4%
Livestock Farm price index (1990-1992=100%) (November) 117 110 117 0.0%
Lumber price from Random Lengths Publications, framing composite (November) $245 $235 $224 9.4%
Lumber production Coast, inland and California redwood regions, Western softwood, million board feet 990 945 1,139 -13.1%
Power PGE, weather-adjusted, million kilowatt-hours (November) 1,514.7 1,439.0 1,542.5 -1.8%

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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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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