Where to Find a Job – Not Oregon According to Juju.Com


Oregon’s March 2010 employment figures are out and they continue a steady twenty-five month decline. The figures showed an additional 1,000 private sector jobs lost. It also continued a nearly unbroken string of twenty-five months of steady decline for private sector employment in Oregon.

At the same time Juju.com released its monthly index report on the best and worst places to look for a job. Not surprisingly, Oregon finished near the bottom. Of the fifty major cities, Portland finished forty-third bunched tightly with Birmingham, Alabama and Providence, Rhode Island, neither of which would be considered a “desirable” place to live or work. Juju.com index is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed workers in each metro area, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by the number of jobs in Juju’s index for the same metro area.

The figures utilized in this column are all taken from the Oregon Labor Market Information System (OLMIS) which is produced by the Oregon Department of Employment — a decidedly mislabeled agency. In addition to the statistical data, the department issues a press release and holds a press conference — the latter of which is recorded and preserved on their website (http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/OlmisZine).

In December of 2007, Oregon reached its peak in private sector employment with 1,444,500 jobs. That number is arrived at by taking the Total Non-farm Employment (1,738,100) and reducing it by the total Government Employment (293,600). As of March of 2010, the private sector employment number stood at 1,290,600 down a total of 153,900. During that same period of time Oregon’s available labor force (the population over the age of eighteen) has grown by about 42,700.

The tragedy of the declining employment picture in Oregon is magnified by the apparent indifference of the Kulongoski administration. Not a single action has been undertaken by Gov. Kulongoski or his colleagues in the Democrat controlled legislature that could be remotely considered to improve Oregon’s employment picture.

Kulongoski continues to be enthralled by his “green dream” which to-date has simply been a drain on Oregon’s economy. The growth in wind power generation has been heavily subsidized by Oregon taxpayers and the vast majority of the subsidies have flowed to out-of-state manufacturers of the wind turbine blades and the wind turbine generators. The net result is that the dollars eaten up by taxes would otherwise be available to Oregon businesses to expand and create jobs locally.

The continuous drive towards higher taxes and fees creates a climate of uncertainty for businesses and discourages them from locating and/or growing their businesses. Oregon continues to see a steady outward migration of business expansion and businesses themselves. Those involved in production or manufacturing on a national or international basis so routinely turn their back on Oregon that other states now actively recruit existing businesses to relocate to their states.

The press conference accompanying the release of the March numbers reflected the administration’s indifference. Responding to a question from a reporter about what the state needs to do improve the job situation, the administration spokesperson basically responded that there was nothing they could do that they simply had to wait for something to happen on a national level.

Gov. Kulongoski is the least economically literate governor ever to hold office in modern times in Oregon. He lacks the education, training, experience and/or interest as to what drives an economy. Worse yet he has surrounded himself with public employee union leaders, environmental activists and party sycophants all of whom benefit by keeping the governor clueless. When the spokesperson said there was nothing they could do, she was reflecting the Kulongoski administration economic view and not the reality of the marketplace.

Other Western states have taken more aggressive actions with a result that their job numbers are growing — not shrinking. Arizona’s private sector workforce has grown by over 20,000 jobs since the first of the year. Idaho (about forty percent the size of Oregon) added six thousand private sector jobs during the same period. It is not the lack of success of efforts in Oregon; it is the lack of effort period.

There is a clear message to Oregon’s youth. If you willing to work hard and have a strong desire to succeed, get out now.

Following is a short list of things that could be done quickly to energize Oregon’s economy and at least signify a desire to attack the problem:

1. Create a tax free capital gains for all investments made for the next ten years and couple that with a reduction on capital gains tax to one-half of the current rates phased in over the next five years.
2. Accelerate depreciation schedules for all capital investments made to at least equal those utilized under federal income tax laws.
3. Create a tax credit for one-half of the amount that wages exceed federal minimum wage standards for each new job created from now until January 1, 2012.
4. Eliminate the state inheritance tax when passing a business to a spouse or lineal descendant.

Each recommendation preserves capital in the private sector that can be used for expansion and job creation. Each recommendation also sends a signal that the State of Oregon favors business growth rather than government growth.

But don’t hold your breath while the public employees unions continue to dominate Oregon politics.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 28 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Ron Marquez

    …..”But don’t hold your breath while the public employees unions continue to dominate Oregon politics.”…..

    Translated…..”breath normally until Oregon makes California seem prosperous, then hold your breath for a few seconds and see if anything changes”.

  • eagle eye

    Providence not a desirable place to live? In many ways, it beats most Oregon towns and cities.

    By the way, what is juju.com and why should we take them seriously? A little background might help.

    Finally, instead of complaining all the time about the unions and their grip on Oregon politics (translation: they can win elections, my side can’t), how about coming up with attractive candidates to represent your point of view.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >the administration spokesperson basically responded that there was nothing they could do that they simply had to wait for something to happen on a national level.

    And that should tell you everything you need to know about these idiots.

    If there is nothing they can do, then that means they think that government action does not affect the economy.

    True, government cannot instantly create a good economy, however there are actions government can take to mitigate detriment to the economy.

    The official line, as delivered by this spokesperson, clearly indicates this administrations ignorance of that fact.

    That should tell you all you need to know about the competency of these people.

    It should also tell you why I will miss Ted when he is gone. During the Bush years whenever I would hear someone saying how stupid Bush was I would always inquire if that person had voted for Ted. If the reply was in the affirmative the assessments of Bush’s intelligence by that person would usually quietly trail off.

  • Rick Hickey

    Larry, NONE of those tax revenue decreasing plans will create the 150,000 jobs needed now!

    But, requiring every employer, public and private, to use free, fast & accurate E-Verify would make available the over 150,000 jobs now stolen by an illegal alien here.

    And the huge financial drain on our Schools, Jails, health care, OHP, OR Trail card and many other social servcie agencies would be reduced big time.

    E-Verify mandatory would see the number of Private sector jobs open increase and the number of Government jobs decrease. HELLO?
    At least in Marion & Polk Counties, this law will be voted on in November. Because none of our “Leaders” will really HELP all of us and make this happen, as they should.

    Obviously Gov. Ted K., Dave Hunt & Pete Courtney are still more concerned with Illegal Aliens “rights”, than Americans/Oregonians. I think candidate Chris Dudley is on thier side too.

    Arizona, mentioned above, has E-Verify mandatory, even approved by the far left 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, thanks to Proof via George Borjas Prof. of Economics-Harvard, and his accurate report of how maasive immigration is lowering all wages. I’m just sayin…

  • Bob Clark

    The Oregon Employment Department’s March report seems kind of strange, too. If you look at the unemployment rates by county or metropolitan area, the local unemployment rates are generally up by say 0.5% points (not good) from February 2010 to March 2010. Yet the state total only shows the unemployment rate increasing 0.1% points. The only counties showing positive or such changes are very small (Sherman and Gilliam). Multnomah County’s unemployment rate increased 0.5% basis points and Washington County’s 0.6% basis points.

    I would suggest lowering income tax rates, which would also indirectly lower capital gains rates. This would encourage more entrepreneurs to seek out Oregon over California. Washington is toying with implementing an income tax, and lowering income taxes relative to neighboring states would send out a real positive word for Oregon. This would require streamlining government services, including Oregon’s healthcare plan. Entrepreneurs and vibrant businesses do not need such services, and by creating higher employment by locating in the state reduce the need for such “safety net” programs.

    Other important steps would be to deregulate, loosening up on overlording state land regulations. Maybe Free enterprise zones. Encourage businesses to come in the “Oregon Door”, and then see if any externalities can be mitigated.

    Other things would be for government to stop choosing what specific industry to promote. For example, when government goes after ‘green” jobs it is effectively is turning its back on 98 to 99 percent of all businesses. The other thing is a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out there are many communities across the country vying for “green” jobs, and so such jobs are getting spread pretty thin.

  • valley p

    “Birmingham, Alabama and Providence, Rhode Island, neither of which would be considered a “desirable” place to live or work.”

    Wait a minute Larry. I thought Alabama was a “right to work” state? If a non union state is a lousy place to work, and a union state is also a lousy place, then what is left?

    • Steve Plunk

      A right to work state has unions like any other. Especially public employee unions. Go ahead, pick another unimportant point to bang your drum about as you attempt to move the discussion where you want it. In other words misdirect.

      • valley p

        “A right to work state has unions like any other. ”

        Factually incorrect. New York has 25% union membership, while North Carolina has only 3%. All the deep south states have union membership rates below 6%, or less than half the national average.

        By the way, Sarah Palin’s Alaska has the 3rd highest percent union membership in the nation.

        Larry’s post is about the lack of *private sector* job growth. Based on his economic theory and I suspect yours, a right to work state should have higher *private sector* job growth than a state with more *private sector unions* . Alabama, not to mention most of the rest of the south, which has higher unemployment than average, should instead be out performing the northern states. But this is not happening. That fact alone should cause you and Larry to re-think your theory, but instead you dismiss someone bringing this up as “misdirecting.”

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >but instead you dismiss someone bringing this up as “misdirecting.”

          Probably because they don’t want to have to keep answering this same silly point over and over and over again.

          Yet again –

          Lots of factors influence job growth. You doing cross state comparisons is flawed for the same reason just doing international gun control law comparisons doesn’t work.

          This flaw in your logic has been pointed out to you ad nauseum.

          Eventually people get tired of pointing out to you the same thing. They give up and just start dismissing you, rightfully so, as someone who just likes to criticize the south, and occasionally makes some racist remarks in the process.

          The fact is almost any analysis shows right to work states typically have lower unemployment rates and increasing economic activity.

          You just want to get on your anti southern bandwagon and in any discussion of employment, your true goal is to steer conversation towards that so you can make fun of Mississippi and South Carolina.

          Frankly I wish you would take your anti Southern garbage elsewhere. You almost invariably get into some pretty ugly language when you bring it up and I think it is singularly non constructive for you to constantly try to find vent for your rather ugly biases.

          Oh – And btw – you might want to drop the Sarah Palin routine. AK is not a right to work state.

          It might strike you as a news flash that a non right to work state with heavy fishing and oil industries has high union membership.

          To the rest of us we would find that result rather obvious.

          • valley p

            “doing cross state comparisons is flawed”

            But Larry doing cross city comparisons is not flawed? And the countless cross comparisons of education levels by state posted on Catalyst are not flawed? And claiming businesses will leave Oregon for other states due to our tax structure is not flawed?

            I get it Rupert, If I point out a state comparison it is flawed. If you or a “conservative” like Larry does it it is ok.

            “The *fact is* almost any analysis shows right to work states typically have lower unemployment rates and increasing economic activity.”

            Really? That is a *fact* ? Unfortunately for you *the fact is that right to work states are near the bottom, meaning they have among the highest unemployment rates* .

            *Note to Rupert. The following is a link to a reference. It is up to you to actually click on it and read it* . https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

            Also, though comparisons are clearly unfair, the southern right to work states are nearly uniformly poorer per capita than the northern, union friendly states. Poorer generally means *less* economic activity, not more. If you believe otherwise then invest in Haiti.

            “Frankly I wish you would take your anti Southern garbage elsewhere. You almost invariably get into some pretty ugly language when you bring it up and I think it is singularly non constructive for you to constantly try to find vent for your rather ugly biases.”

            Oh please stop with the sanctimonious nonsense and be a responsible adult for once in your life. You and Larry and Steve and many others on Catalyst want to import an essentially southern states economic model to Oregon. But you can’t deal with someone pointing out the easily verifiable *fact* that the south is the poorest part of the nation. If you want to ignore facts fine, but don’t expect me to play along. And if you want to poison the well by accusing me of language or beliefs I don’t use or hold, that simply exposes the weakness of your position. As usual.

          • Steve Plunk

            Rather than import Southern states as examples I find it easier to show Oregon’s path as flawed. Larry brought in a city in Alabama as a less desirable place to live than Portland. Do you disagree with that? He also brought in Providence which is no Southern state. With Portland’s natural beauty and proximity to nature it shouldn’t be at the bottom of the list. That’s the point you are missing while veering off on a tangent about right to work laws.

            Now I don’t profess to know your beliefs but I do see your logic on display and it is flawed. Get back to Oregon and it’s problems. Boy do we have problems. I expect us to follow California right down the tubes of public excess and public employee union sabotage.

          • valley p

            “Larry brought in a city in Alabama as a less desirable place to live than Portland. Do you disagree with that? ”

            I’ve never been there so won’t comment on its desirability or lack thereof. To each his or her own.

            “With Portland’s natural beauty and proximity to nature it shouldn’t be at the bottom of the list.”

            Except that the list Larry cited has nothing to do with natural beauty. It was only about a single factor: the number of people looking for work versus the number of posted jobs. One can argue there are a lot of people here relative to available jobs because this is a desirable place to be, and that the opposite may explain why Fargo ND has fewer people looking for available jobs.

            “Now I don’t profess to know your beliefs but I do see your logic on display and it is flawed.”

            With all due respect Steve, I believe you are finding flaws in my logic because you disagree with my beliefs and conclusions. I can’t help but notice that you don’t spend much time criticizing the “logic” of those you happen to agree with.

            “Get back to Oregon and it’s problems. ”

            File your complaint with Larry. He made the post comparing Portland’s situation with other cities, which is what I responded to. As for the rest, I agree Oregon has problems with respect to employment. I disagree about the causes and solutions.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >But Larry doing cross city comparisons is not flawed? And the countless cross comparisons of education levels by state posted on Catalyst are not flawed?

            Oh good lord, are you seriously trying this dodge again?

            Once again Dean – just because I say one instance of something is invalid does not mean all instances of it are.

            We were talking about state to state comparisons in re right to work. That’s what my comment was limited to.

            >Note to Rupert. The following is a link to a reference. It is up to you to actually click on it and read it . https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

            Um, I would suggest in the future that you do not try this kind of thing. It really shows a poor argument.

            I went to this link. It shows unemployment state by state.

            Thus it proves nothing as it does not give any indication as to how passage of right to work laws affected employment pre and post passage.

            If you have a study showing that passage of right to work laws leads to job loss we will all listen. You posting a phony link like this proves only that you cannot form a cohesive argument.

            >Also, though comparisons are clearly unfair, the southern right to work states are nearly uniformly poorer per capita than the northern, union friendly states. Poorer generally means less economic activity, not more. If you believe otherwise then invest in Haiti.

            And if you believe this proves anything, then you are really grasping.

            Southern states have always been poorer, at least as far as the history we are concerned with goes.

            Do you have a study showing southern states saw increasing unemployment after passage of right to work?

            Let’s see it.

            Otherwise this sort of flailing isn’t proving anything.

            >Oh please stop with the sanctimonious nonsense and be a responsible adult for once in your life.

            I am, you are the only one who regularly makes racist comments here and has a really ugly nativist attitude.

            I frankly think your regular ugly remarks along these lines, such as your ability to tell what a person does by how they look and where they live, or your overtly racist comments during the presidential campaign are ugly as hell.

            I resent your never ended attempts to steer any topic related to statewide job growth into a forum for you to spout off with your ugly stereotypes and bigotry.

            I resent your nativist attitude with regard to oil drilling and cannot believe that in this day and age anyone would hold, let alone openly express, such a view.

            Get off it.

            Your kind of bigotry has no place in any sort of civilized discourse and you should be ashamed of yourself for constantly engaging in it.

  • Rick Hickey

    Bob, Lower income taxes? Voters said yes to higher taxes, twice now.

    Valley, AZ. IS a right to work state and R’s there actually support the Rule of Law.

    • valley p

      “Valley, AZ. IS a right to work state and R’s there actually support the Rule of Law.”

      Yes it is. And its unemployment rate is only slightly beter than Oregon’s, and its state finances are far worse. They have even closed state parks and highway rest stops, leading to geezers having to pee on the side of the road.

      Rule of law? Pulling people over because the “look like aliens” ad demanding to see their papers is not the rule of law Rick, it is the rule of a fascist state.

  • Rick Hickey

    My fellow R’s, give us a strong reason to help your campaign, like they do in AZ….More Proof that I know what I’m talking about…

    70% of Arizona Voters Favor New State Measure Cracking Down On Illegal Immigration
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    The Arizona legislature has now passed the toughest measure against illegal immigration in the country, authorizing local police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.
    A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 70% of likely voters in Arizona approve of the legislation, while just 23% oppose it.

    Eighty-three percent (83%) of Arizona voters say a candidate’s position on immigration is an important factor in how they will vote, including 51% who say it’s very important.

    The measure is already having an impact on this year’s Senate and governor races in the state.
    Senator John McCain, who is facing a serious Republican Primary challenge this year in part over his involvement in developing immigration reform legislation, on Monday endorsed the new state law

    73% of voters in Arizona now say gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of these undocumented workers

    When these moves against Arpaio were first reported in March 2009, 68% of Arizona voters said they had a favorable view of the sheriff. Voters also strongly favored his tactics including police raids on places where illegal immigrants gather to find work.

    AND LOOK AT THIS…Eighty-four percent (84%) of Arizona Republicans and 69% of voters not affiliated with either major party in the state favor the new get-tough legislation

    • Rick Hickey

      Reminder for you Race Card players – AZ. is over 40% Hispanic AND they Vote for R politicians that support the law, toughest Sheriff in the US also, don’t they?

      • valley p

        According to the census bureau 30% of Arizonans are of Hispanic or Latino descent, not 40%. The good news is that means that local police will only have to harass 2 million people for their papers, not the whole 6.5 million who live there.

        The funny thing will be if they start pulling over the 250,000 or so Native Americans in Arizona, some of whom might look Hispanic to a white cop. “Let me see your papers” to someone whose ancestors were here 10,000 years before the cops? Now that is funny.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >The funny thing will be if they start pulling over the 250,000 or so Native Americans in Arizona, some of whom might look Hispanic to a white cop.

          Good Lord – Our resident Archie Bunker just really doesn’t get it does he?

          Dean – In this day and age you are truly embarrassing.

          It’s getting to the point where you are kind of like the old uncle whose crudeness you have to apologize for before hand because he’s still stuck in the 50’s….well, maybe 40’s…..1840’s that is.

          Word of advice, next time one of the “funnies” pops into your head, you might want to keep it to yourself if you are in civilized company.

          • valley p

            “Thus it proves nothing as it does not give any indication as to how passage of right to work laws affected employment pre and post passage. ”

            Right. Nor did I make any such claim. It was you who claimed, and I quote: “The fact is almost any analysis shows right to work states typically have lower unemployment rates and increasing economic activity.”

            Only you did not bother to cite any analysis. So I cited actual data that completely contradicts your thesis. You are right to ignore it and change the subject to racism.

            “Southern states have always been poorer, at least as far as the history we are concerned with goes.”

            Yes. And if right to work is good for a state’s economy, then that should not be the case. Thanks for making my point.

            “Your kind of bigotry has no place in any sort of civilized discourse and you should be ashamed of yourself for constantly engaging in it. ”

            Your sanctimonious garbage is transparent and beyond tiresome. You claim bigotry whenever it is necessary for you to deflect an argument you can’t win because the facts are against you. I’m onto you Rupert. You can play this game all you want, it doesn’t make any of it any more real than the last time. It only exposes you for the intellectual fraud that you are.

            “Good Lord – Our resident Archie Bunker just really doesn’t get it does he?”

            Get what Rupert? That the proposed law in Arizona explicitly relies on racial profiling, and that brownish skin might be used to identify suspects? You are shocked there is gambling going on here? My recognition of reality makes me Archie Bunker? You are a piece of work.

            And just for future reference, are YOU civilized company? Just checking.

      • lol

        Rick, the ONLY card you play is the race card. You don’t like brown people. We get it. Thanks for sharing.

    • eagle eye

      If it’s so popular, maybe one of our ever-active initiative initiators should get it on the ballot. In Oregon, most of the candidates don’t seem to think it’s something to run with.

  • Anonymous

    Providence may not be a good place to work, but if you have money already it would be a damn fine place to live – beautiful city, on the water, full of history, close to Boston… I am not sure what the “not a desirable place” statement is supposed to mean here?

    • eagle eye

      My guess: it means “East Coast, old, a very liberal city and state, it must not be a desirable place to live”.

      • Anonymous

        Whatever. My parents lived in Rhode Island on the Navy base before I was born and loved it. I only visited there once on a business trip and thought it was a beautiful, albeit prohibitively expensive, place. I may not be able to get a job there that pays enough to live there – but if I had a lot of money to invest in a house and didn’t need a lot of other income after taking care of the housing, it would be a great place to go.

        And yes, it may be a “liberal” state, but if a few hundred thousand conservatives relocated there, it wouldn’t be…

        • eagle eye

          All true. The main thing Oregon has going for it is the natural environment, what’s left of it. A few attractive cities. Or rather, a few cities with urban attractiveness. It’s also relatively uncrowded — that’s a real drawback of the Northeast — and relatively cheap. I wouldn’t want to live in the Boston or New York area on the money I have here in Oregon.

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