In a newsletter about three months ago, I acknowledged some improving economic conditions in Oregon, but counseled that it was no time to become complacent.
That turns out to have been right on. Since then, seasonally adjusted job growth has dramatically slowed, and seasonally adjusted unemployment has increased.
When Oregon had some good job numbers, I pointed out that Oregon’s economy was small and therefore volatile, and people should not put too much weight on the good numbers.
Oregon’s economy is still small, and therefore volatile. We shouldn’t worry too much about a weak number or two. However, Oregon has now had five quarters of very weak seasonally adjusted jobs numbers. It might be time to consider worrying.
If we don’t fall into a new recession, an increasingly problematic assumption, we expect the national recovery to be slow and inconsistent. California’s economy, which has large impacts on Oregon, is recovering much more slowly than the national economy. Thus, Oregon is unlikely to benefit from two traditionally major sources of economic growth. I think it’s time that Oregonians to develop an economic growth plan that does not depend on the United States economy or California’s economy.