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Oregon’s April Job Gain Largest Since 2007

May 30, 2010 --

By Oregon Employment Department,

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.6 percent in April, the same level as in March. The rate has been essentially unchanged for the most recent six months. Oregon’s unemployment rate was 11.5 percent in April 2009. In April, 211,688 Oregonians were unemployed. In April 2009, 225,744 Oregonians were unemployed.

As the national economy expands, following one of the deepest recessions in decades, many individuals who dropped out of the labor force are returning. This appears to be happening in Oregon as well. Oregon’s labor force participation rate rose to 64.7 percent in April after reaching a low of 64.0 percent in December.

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Data shows Portland improved, recession ended late 2009

May 29, 2010 --

By Tim Duy,
Oregon Economic Forum

University of Oregon Portland Metro Business Index
.
sponsor, KeyBank.

The University of Oregon Portland Metro Business Index (PMBI) rose 1.2% percent to 88.9 (2002=100) in the first quarter of 2010.  Compared to year ago levels, the PMBI is down just 2.5 percent, a significant improvement from the low of -16.9% in the second quarter of 2009.

Highlights include:

•    Labor market data was generally improved in the region. Initial unemployment claims continued to decline, signaling a slower pace of layoffs, which is consistent with improving economic conditions.  Job growth reemerged in the first quarter with the first increase in nonfarm payrolls in two years.  Due to a data collection error, local level initial unemployment claims data is not available for January 2010.  The data was estimated via an average of the year-over-year changes of initial claims for December 2009 and February 2010.

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Economic reasons why taxes will rise

May 28, 2010 --

By Bill Conerly,
Conerly Consulting
, Businomics,

This is my third (and maybe final) post in the series on the economic effects of our budget deficit and debt.  First I talked about the risk of inflation due to the deficit, then about the potential of a debt crisis in America.  In this blog I’ll explain how I expect our problem to be resolved: higher taxes, leading to slower economic growth.

Here’s the big picture of the annual deficit, based on the administration’s current projections:

Deficit History

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Google discloses ad data. Oregon at $500 Million

May 27, 2010 --

By Oregon Small Business Association

Earlier this week Google Inc. announced the amount of economic impact that Google had on each state in 2009. In Oregon, 28,500 advertisers and publishers benefitted to the tune of $510.5 million, either by placing their ads on Google or by placing Google advertisements on their site.  And 80 non-profits benefitted with $1.3 million donated by the search giant.

Recently, for the first time, Google disclosed their revenue splits with search and content publishers. In a blog post on Monday, Google says it pays publishers 68% of the revenue Google collects from advertisers for content ads that appear on the publishers’ sites.  Google said it pays publishers 51% of revenue for search ads.  Previously Google had been unresponsive in requests to reveal it’s revenue splits.

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Merkley bill takes $20 billion back from oil companies

May 26, 2010 --

Merkley Joins Robert Menendez and Bill Nelson to Close Tax Loopholes, Save Taxpayers $20 Billion Over 10 Years
Senator Jeff Merkley Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) joined Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today to announce legislation that will close a number of corporate tax loopholes that allow oil companies to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. The Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act targets a series of tax breaks related to drilling activities and revenues, as well as foreign tax schemes. Menendez estimates that closing these loopholes will amount to more than $20 billion over ten years for taxpayers…

Among its provisions, the legislation would accomplish the following:

* Recoup royalties that oil companies avoided paying for oil and gas production on public lands

* Prevent oil companies from manipulating the rules on foreign taxes to avoid paying full corporate taxes in the U.S.

* End a number of tax deductions and relief afforded to the oil industry, such as the deductions for classifying oil production as manufacturing, for the depletion of oil and gas through drilling and for costs associated with preparing to drill.

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Health Care: 8 tips to implement new laws

May 25, 2010 --

Health Care Reform: The Eight Steps for Employers Now
By Barran Liebman

With all of the press, articles, and presentations covering Health Care Reform and the enormity of the topic, we have prepared a simple guide to what employers must do today or within the next few months to comply with the Health Care Reform requirements. While it is important to begin the planning process for Health Care Reform, it is perhaps more important to not get lost in the broad details and misunderstand or simply miss the requirements taking effect now.

Health Care Reform is effective the first day of your plan year beginning after September 23, 2010. This is the typically the first day of the Plan Year that you list on your Form 5500 or the date on which you annually enroll individuals in health plans (renewal date).

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Washington cracks down on Independent Contractors

May 24, 2010 --

Agency Aggressively Joins in Challenges to Status of Independent Contractors; Announces “ESD is on your tail!
By Nigel P. Avilez and Michael J. Killeen
Davis, Wright and Tremaine LLP

In 2009, Washington state’s Employment Security Department (ESD) paid out nearly $4 billion in unemployment benefits, setting a state record for unemployment claims. This compares to $1.2 billion in 2008 and $725 million in 2007.1 With the increased demands for benefits, Washington, like other cash-strapped states and the federal government,2 is trying to increase payroll tax collections by aggressively challenging independent contractor classifications, tax rates and reporting.

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Disclose Act is political attack on business

May 23, 2010 --

DISCLOSE Act Is Partisan Effort to Silence Critics and Gain Political Advantage
By U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today in response to the House Administration Committee’s markup of the so-called “DISCLOSE Act:”

“The DISCLOSE Act is an unconstitutional attempt to silence free speech and a desperate attempt by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and the immediate past chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Chuck Schumer, to gain political advantage in the 2010 elections.

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Video: Google TV launched. Will it work?

May 22, 2010 --

Two videos to watch
1. CNN Money asks questions about Google TV launch
2. Google TV promo video

See other video below:

Read the full article and discuss it »

Governor report warns of deficit crisis

May 21, 2010 --

Governor Ted Kulongoski
Press Release and Summary

Reset Cabinet issues an analysis of state services and fiscal future to educate the public and decision makers in advance of final recommendations next month

Salem – Governor Ted Kulongoski today received an update from the Reset Cabinet he created in September 2009 that provides a thorough analysis of the fiscal vulnerabilities of the state created by the current economic crisis and the long-lasting effects of the recession in Oregon.   The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, reveals that Oregon will face deficits over the next ten years, rather than the surpluses projected before the recession, if state government continues to try to sustain the type and scope of services it now provides.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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