Posted by: Josh Lehner | March 5, 2014

Getting There

The latest employment report is out and most importantly the annual benchmark revision has been released and shows more jobs added in 2013 than originally thought. This is right inline with our forecast, but is good and better news than the preliminary data indicated. As Employment’s Nick Beleiciks wrote a couple months back: Finally some real growth. As our office is wont to do, now for some graphs!

This first graph is an update comparing recessions in Oregon’s post-WWII history. We’re now just a little bit better than the recovery coming out of the early 1980s recession, but just barely. Based on our office’s latest forecast, Oregon is now just about 1 year away from regaining all of the recessionary job losses. We’re getting there.


In terms of the number of jobs being added, right now the state is at three-quarters throttle. The just more than 40,000 annual pace is effectively on par with the gains seen last decade but a notch below the 1990s gains. The improvement in the pace of recovery in 2013 is clearly evident in the graph as more regions of the state came online. We’re getting there.


While the number of jobs being added is picking up, so too is the growth rate. We’re up to a 2.7% pace in January, over the past year. In a historical context this is still a subdued rate of growth, but we’re up to about a three-quarters throttle rate here as well. We’re getting there.


Right now our baseline forecast calls for about this same rate of growth over the next couple of years. It’s a big improvement over the growth seen during the early stages of recovery but not as strong as the typical expansion in Oregon. Are we too pessimistic? Can job growth reach 3-4%? If even more regions of the state improve (Lane County in particular), and there is a stronger cyclical rate of growth due to, say, household deleveraging is complete and/or corporations invest more, absolutely. However, slow growth coming out a financial crisis is the norm and the demographic trends moving forward will weigh considerably on growth rates as the Baby Boomers retire en masse. Our office is optimistic about the outlook, we just believe these larger forces will hold us back from the full, typical expansion rates of growth. And yes, overall we are getting there.


  1. amazing and well presented, greetings peace be with you 🙂

  2. […] others. Specifically, Oregon experienced the 7th largest job loss across the country and while we are getting there in terms of regaining these losses, Oregon is not yet back to pre-recession levels of employment, […]

  3. […] of Labor Statistics. Overall 2013 was not only stronger than previous years, since we already knew job growth accelerated, but the pattern of growth across occupations was also more encouraging.  Below is an update on […]

  4. […] personal income tax state, making up 87 percent of the General Fund this biennium. While 2013 saw a big improvement in the Oregon economy, our office’s and other states around the country’s expectations are for modest growth […]

  5. […] the state is getting there in terms of the total number of jobs, increased attention is being paid to the other measures of […]

  6. […] recent months, job growth has not only accelerated relative to the recent past, but it currently running above forecast as well. The graph below shows our May 2013 employment […]

  7. […] War II, the early 1980s when the timber industry restructured and the Great Recession. In terms of employment, today the state largely tracks the experience seen during the 1980s, and also in terms of […]

  8. […] as measured by job growth. In terms of the strongest acceleration in recent years, only Nevada, Oregon, Florida and Delaware have seen growth improve by 1.5 percentage points or more since 2011 and […]

  9. […] most industries are in a good place in terms of growth rates, and given that the state is getting there, it is expected to see this […]

  10. […] the rate of growth is still three-quarters throttle relative to historical expansions. Oregon is getting there, however we are still digging out from the Great […]

  11. […] In terms of the outlook from here, our office is expecting more of the same for the next couple of years. Job growth in Oregon of 2.5-3.0 percent per year, which is about one percentage point faster than the typical state, or maybe three-quarters of a percentage point faster. Given the slowdown in employment data over the summer, we built in a near-term acceleration into the outlook to get the state back to the growth seen about 9 months ago. The reason being is that while the jobs data slowed down, other indicators did not. This preliminary October employment figure is another indication that the expansion certainly continues and likely did not slow, at least very much. Oregon’s recovery continues ahead at about three-quarters throttle. […]

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