|| Print ||
|Wednesday, October 28, 2009|
The latest numbers show that Oregon has lost 124,300 jobs since I took this job in December of 2007. Clearly my writing is not good for the state’s economy. So forgive me if I dispense with the cheerleading and point out a few observations that give me reason for concern.
It starts with the banks. Lake Oswego-headquartered West Coast Bank is the latest to receive an ominously worded “cease and desist” order from the FDIC. That makes three important regional banks struggling for survival, if you add Columbia River Bank of The Dalles and Bank of the Cascades in Bend. Plus the complex situation of ShoreBank Pacific, which is wholly owned by a holding company operating under a cease and desist order of its own. These banks have to improve their capital positions or else, and that means they will be more reluctant to loan than ever.
Then there’s retail. Is it me or is the premature Christmas glitter looking even more desperate than usual this season? I realize that retail drives the economy, 70% of which is based on consumer spending. But is it really the duty of every American to purchase all the world’s plastic junk? Consumers lack confidence for a reason. With so many companies cutting costs, salaries and jobs, how much longer can consumers be expected to over-spend?
Next, there’s politics. I don’t like to write about politics, so I will keep it brief. The revived effort to kick Sam Adams out of office is not helpful. Can we please move past this?
Finally, there is my own profession, journalism. The latest circulation figures show that the Oregonian’s 12% drop was actually good compared to some of its peers. That is pathetic. The nation has lost thousands of journalism jobs over the past year, a trend that is bad for democracy as well as the economy. Does anyone really believe that citizen journalists will fill the gap by breaking stories about the CIA’s payments to Hamid Karzai’s drug-dealing brother? I don’t see that happening. It’s one thing to overhear a political blunder and blog it out, and quite another to dig up unpleasant truths about people in power.
Forgive my pessimism. Perhaps if the Dow would pop over 10,000 and stay there for, say, three days in a row, I would get over it.
Besides, the evidence would seem to indicate that the the relationship between the optimistic tone of previous Jobs Watch posts and actual gains in the state economy is inversely proportional. Perhaps the same will hold true in reverse.
|The Love Boat|
|The Food Pod Grows Up|
|The High Road|
|Tinker, Tailor, Portland Maker|
|The Shift to Community Health Care|
|The Harder They Fall|
|Another chapter to the Bezos/Musk space race story|
|Thanksgiving travel: Fuel costs low, terrorism anxiety high|
|Costco chicken salad linked to E. coli case in Washington|
|Nestle comes clean about benefitting from slave labor|
|Enormous drugmaker emerges from Pfizer, Allergan deal|
|Startups joining lobbying game|
|Merchants complain as Square goes public|
Economic diversity has proven a smart strategy for the Port of Hood River. How can other Oregon communities replicate the model?
Phone, Internet needs of small community school districts earn attention of top-five telecom provider.
Farmland LP grows its vision for organic farming in Oregon.
The Salem Convention Center has capped its tenth anniversary year by earning the prestigious “Best of the Best 2015” award from NW Meetings & Events magazine. Selected as the Best Convention/Conference Venue in Oregon by meeting and event planners from Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the Salem Convention Center ranked above the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Art Museum.
The Oregon Cooperative Hall of Fame honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the successful building and operation of Oregon agricultural cooperatives.
Health insurer reports $10.2 million in net income after taxes through the first nine months of 2015.