Economists track Oregon despite no new jobs data

Economists track Oregon despite no new jobs data

Oregon economists have shifted their focus as the state's monthly hiring update for October was skipped due to the federal government shutdown.

Mark McMullen, Oregon’s state economist, says income tax withholding data show employment growth has continued at about the same “steady, healthy” pace during the last few months. Unemployment insurance stats tell a similar story, he said.

University of Oregon economics professor Tim Duy tracks a separate set of indicators, though he's put the monthly gauges on hold until the jobs data are out.

He’s watching what local and state numbers are coming out, such as building permits, but those stats alone can be volatile, he said. "You kind of need the aggregate of the whole picture, and for that, you need the employment data," Duy said.