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Study: 11,758 jobs lost due to Oregon regulations

March 16, 2011

Oregon’s Employment Laws Cost 11,578 Jobs
By Oregon Prosperity Project,

It’s always difficult to quantify just how costly a state’s regulatory environment can be, but a recently-released study commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce puts an exact number on the lost jobs in Oregon due to our burdensome workplace laws and regulations.

Oregon fares rather poorly in the study. We rank in the bottom third of US states in terms of competitive employment regulations.

In other words, Oregon makes it harder to provide a job than nearly every state in the union.

The costs of our regulations are real. If Oregon adopted a regulatory system consistent with federal regulation, and did not choose to add additional layers of regulation on our businesses, employment in Oregon would increase by 11,578 jobs. The study concludes that there would by 787 new businesses in Oregon today but for our burdensome workplace regulations.

Workplace regulations are tricky because a lot of them sound good. These are the laws that govern the employer/employee relationship. They govern how many hours we can work, our paychecks, our ability to take time off from work, or our ability to access workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits.

But it’s important to note that federal law guarantees protections to Oregon employees on all of these issues. Oregon’s loss of 11,578 new jobs or 787 new businesses is due to the fact that Oregon imposes additional regulatory burdens that most states do not.

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