Lars Larson on Disappearing Eastern Oregon Jobs

Let’s talk about the jobs that are disappearing from Eastern Oregon.

On Friday, at the Pendleton roundup, I had a chance to talk to Congressman Greg Walden about jobs. The concern is that in 2006 Oregon had as many manufacturing jobs as it had back in 1976. We added a million people. We’ve got the same number of manufacturing jobs. Now, that doesn’t sound healthy for the state.

He gave me another stat to consider. In Wallowa County, they just lost 200 mill jobs. He said if you extrapolated that out to Multnomah County, that would be like Multnomah County in the Portland area losing 26,000 jobs in one fell swoop. That’s not healthy for the state. Oregon has become a business-unfriendly state and unfortunately a lot of it has to do with natural resources like logging and fishing and farming.

We’ve got to get those jobs back. They are not going to be replaced by the tourist sector. They are not going to be replaced by high tech and they are certainly not going to be replaced by bio-tech. We’ve got to get those jobs back and a lot of those jobs are available right there in the woods and the forests of Oregon.