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|Wednesday, June 17, 2009|
By now, you have no doubt heard that Oregon's jobless rate is the highest it's been since the state began stacking unemployment consistently in 1976. You may also have heard that the job losses in May weren't as bad as was expected, with surprising signs of life in construction (up 1,700 jobs over April) and leisure and hospitality (up 4,900 jobs over April). Does that mean we're on the verge of bouncing back?
Wouldn't it be pretty to think so. Construction and tourism are inherently seasonal, and summer has come to Oregon at last. It's nice to see the new hires, but how do the numbers compare to a year ago?
Not well. Oregon has lost 17,700 construction jobs and 5,900 tourism jobs over the past year. The only areas of gain over the past year have been government jobs, insurance, health care, private education and food manufacturing. Economic bedrocks such as manufacturing, professional services, retail and transportation have been hammered.
Which brings me back to my original quest. Who's going to pull us out of this slump? I'll stick with my core list of companies with potential, and add a few new up-and-comers such as the health care reformers running Wellpartner and the grant gurus at Cayuse. I'm also thrilled to point out that one of the businesses I spotlighted early, Brammo, recently scored a major coup by getting electric bikes into Best Buy stores. If these bikes sell, jobs will come to Ashland.
Do these pipsqueaks add up to the powerhouses Oregon has lost, the Willamettes and Hynixes and Freightliners?
Of course not. But give them time — and support.
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Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) will be presenting its third annual Entrepreneurial Summit on Friday, June 5 at Castaway in Portland, Oregon.
On June 13th Mayor Charlie Hales will attend nonprofit organization Dream Change’s inaugural Love Summit and will introduce one of its keynote speakers, Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.
34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.