Posted by: Josh Lehner | July 9, 2012

Coming Attractions

In addition to normal economic reporting and gearing up for the next quarterly Economic and Revenue Forecast (release date: August 29th), our office will have two upcoming items on wages and employment.

The first item – to be posted on the blog tomorrow – will be a quick summary on what happens to wages when workers change industries. The Oregon Employment Department published a great article last month on employees who in 2007 worked in the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturing industry. Since then the industry has lost over three-quarters of its employment and only approximately 12% of those employees in 2007 still work within the industry. What happened to the rest of the workers and what happened to their wages?

The second item – hopefully to be released within the next week or two – is a research report on job polarization in Oregon. The term job polarization refers to the increasing concentration of occupations at both the high and low ends of the wage scale, with a relative shrinking of middle wage jobs. The topic has largely been researched at the national and international levels, however recent work by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has focused on state and regional job polarization. On behalf of our office, the NY Fed Economists compiled Oregon-specific data. Given the importance of the topic and timeliness, seeing as the current labor market conditions are not great, our office is in the final stages of writing a report on how job polarization has changed the occupational landscape in the state over the past 30 years, what the latest projections say about this decade and also some of the economic implications of job polarization.

In other words, stay tuned.


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