Oregon economic indicators as of March 2010

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Articles - June 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All "latest" numbers are for March 2010 unless otherwise noted. Latest Month Previous Month Previous Year Annual Change
Total employment State of Oregon, thousands 1,729.2 1,722.2 1,732.9 -0.2%
Total unemployment State of Oregon, thousands 229.1 218.8 241.3 -5.1%
Unemployment rate Ore. civilian labor force, seasonally adjusted 10.6% 10.5% 11.2% -0.6
Portland/Vancouver MSA; Employed Seven counties, thousands 1,040.0 1,036.3 1,054.0 -1.3%
Portland/Vancouver MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 10.7% 10.2% 10.4% 0.2
Bend MSA; Employed Deschutes County, thousands 67.5 67.4 67.9 -0.5%
Bend MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 13.3% 12.3% 14.1% -0.8
Corvallis MSA; Employed Benton County, thousands 39.8 39.6 40.6 -1.9%
Corvallis MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 7.6% 6.7% 7.8% -0.2
Eugene/Springfield MSA; Employed Lane County, thousands 161.1 160.7 160.7 0.2%
Eugene/Springfield MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 10.6% 10.0% 12.1% -1.6
Medford/Ashland MSA; Employed Jackson County, thousands 87.9 87.9 87.5 0.5%
Medford/Ashland MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 11.7% 10.9% 12.4% -0.7
Salem MSA; Employed Marion and Polk counties, thousands 174.1 173.3 173.2 0.5%
Salem MSA; Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted 10.2% 9.5% 10.5% -0.3
The Coast; Employed Five counties, thousands 83.3 82.7 82.1 1.4%
The Coast; Unemployment rate 12.1% 11.5% 12.7% -0.6
Central Oregon; Employed Eight counties, thousands 110.1 109.3 109.5 0.6%
Central Oregon; Unemployment rate 14.6% 14.5% 15.6% -1.0
Eastern Oregon; Employed Nine counties, thousands 80.9 79.5 79.0 2.5%
Eastern Oregon; Unemployment rate 12.2% 12.2% 12.6% -0.4
Help wanted ad count The Oregonian, Portland (April) 1,557 1,528 1,534 1.5%
Help wanted ad count The Bulletin, Bend (April) 1,072 1,135 918 16.8%
Oregon online job vacancies, total ads in thousands (April) 61.0 51.7 43.5 40.2%
Portland online job vacancies, total ads in thousands (April) 39.0 29.4 23.6 65.3%
New business corporations New filings (April) 749 884 942 -20.5%
Limited liability companies New filings (April) 1,835 2,082 2,140 -14.3%
Business bankruptcies New filings (April) 57 58 55 3.6%
Non-business bankruptcies New filings (April) 1,918 1,874 1,666 15.1%
Trucking Weight-mile tax receipts, millions $17.5 $16.6 $16.9 3.1%
Shipping Port of Portland, total containers load and discharge 12,427 12,524 16,856 -26.3%
Shipping Port of Portland, number of calls by oceangoing vessels 45 50 46 -2.2%
Airline travel, PDX Passengers, thousands 1,059.8 843.8 1,063.0 -0.3%
Airline travel, Eugene Passengers, thousands 58.8 47.2 54.3 8.3%
Airline travel, Medford Passengers, thousands 49.7 40.5 43.5 14.3%
Airline travel, Redmond Passengers, thousands (April) 35.1 38.3 34.2 2.8%
Portland-area homes New listings 4,987 3,902 3,685 35.3%
Willamette Valley Multiple listing sales, millions $97.7 $69.2 $68.4 42.9%
Central Oregon Multiple listing sales, millions $99.5 $68.0 $61.9 60.7%
New Oregon single-family homes 632 516 505 25.1%
New Oregon multiple-housing units 61 34 54 13.0%
Wheat price No.1 soft white, at Portland, per bushel (April) $4.76 $4.64 $5.53 -13.9%
All farm products Farm price index (1990-1992=100%) (April) 142 159 144 -1.4%
All crops Farm price index (1990-1992=100%) (April) 146 168 153 -4.6%
Livestock Farm price index (1990-1992=100%) (April) 127 126 112 13.4%
Lumber price from Random Lengths Publications, framing composite (April) $357 $314 $208 71.6%
Lumber production Coast, inland and California redwood regions, Western softwood, million board feet 964 915 794 21.4%
Power PGE, weather-adjusted, million kilowatt-hours (April) 1,484.4 1,614.7 1,573.0 -5.6%

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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.

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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!

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