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Oregon has nation’s largest drop in business rating

May 31, 2012 --

Oregon Ranked 42nd For Business — the biggest drop of any state
By Oregon Small Business Association

Oregon is an unfriendly state when it comes to business, according to 650 CEO’s surveyed by The survey ranked Oregon No. 42, down 15 spots since 2008, the biggest drop in the survey of all U.S. states.

Respondents indicated Oregon has wasted its competitive advantage with its beauty, natural resources and great work force by replacing it with a State Government that penalizes achievement and success.

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Why the Facebook IPO was not a flop

May 30, 2012 --

By Bill Conerly, Oregon economist
Businomics, Conerly Consulting

Is the Facebook IPO a flop? Not on your life. It’s a sign that Silicon Valley has gotten as smart about finance as it has been about technology. I like it.

The smackdown of Facebook comes from the lack of a price pop on the first day of trading, compounded by declines in the company’s stock price in succeeding days. This is not a flop from Facebook’s perspective, it’s a success.

(A separate issue is NASDAQ order execution, which I’m not discussing here.)

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AOI opposes Federal Disclose Act. Corporate free speech concerns

May 29, 2012 --

By J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries

Federal Legislation would facilitate retaliation against Oregon businesses for political speech.

AOI joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a national coalition of business groups in opposition to the federal DISCLOSE Act of 2012 last week.

AOI signed a formal letter of opposition to the legislation addressed to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to take up the legislation.

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Study rates intellectual property value by state

May 27, 2012 --

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) released a first-of-its-kind study breaking out the economic benefits of intellectual property (IP) on a state-by-state level.

By measuring R&D spending, the number of scientists and engineers, and the amount of patents, trademarks, and copyrights produced, the study, IP Creates Jobs for America, found that “intellectual property’s economic contributions are evident across all states, large and small,” said GIPC executive vice president, Mark Elliot.

In total, the study found that IP-intensive industries power 55.7 million direct and indirect jobs, over $5 trillion in national GDP, and 74 % of total exports.

Diving into individual state data, you’ll find nuggets like the fact that in my home state, Wisconsin, IP supports 1.49 million jobs. It’s a little less in Virginia, my current state of residence, where IP supports 1.36 million jobs. And that’s with Virginia having two million more people.

The top five states with the most IP-supported jobs are:
1.California — 7.4 million
2.Texas — 4.6 million
3.Illinois — 2.83 million
4.New York — 2.78 million
5.Ohio — 2.69 million

Go to, poke around the map, checkout the fact sheets for your state, and you’ll see how important a role IP plays in a state’s economy and the need to adequately protect IP rights.

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Germany, Europe’s economic anchor, now in trouble

Free pizza for Spanish orders deal creates outcry


A pizza restaurant in Houston Texas, Patrone Pizza, is causing a ruckus by offering a free pizza to those who order it in Spanish. MNBC reports below in the video:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Oregon gas price increase slightly — yet may be trending down

May 25, 2012 --

West Coast Pump Prices Begin to Ease; National Average Dips Ahead of Memorial Day Travel
By Oregon — American Automobile Association

“Retail gas prices on the West Coast are close to historic highs, but there are signs prices in this region will begin to ease as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. The national average for regular unleaded falls a nickel this week to $3.68, while Oregon’s statewide average adds three cents to $4.22. That’s a much smaller jump than last week’s gain of 17 cents.” AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, “Spot prices for gasoline in California are now barely above $3 a gallon compared to the $3.50 to $3.60 range earlier this month. The Pacific Northwest is the lone remaining hot spot with wholesale gas fetching about $3.39 a gallon, but that’s down from the more than $3.65 seen earlier this month. This means most western markets could join the rest of the county with some modest price relief in time for the Memorial Day holiday.”

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Oregon may take two more years to return to peak employment levels


Key Workforce Challenges: Slow Job Growth
by Nick Beleiciks, Gail Krumenauer
Oregon Employment Department,

Job growth following the recession has been excruciatingly slow. One measure of employment, the number of jobs covered by unemployment insurance, shows that Oregon lost a net 147,900 jobs during the recession. During the next 25 months through December 2011, Oregon’s economy added back 37,400 jobs, just one-fourth the number of jobs lost during the recession. The slow pace of job growth has been one of the key workforce challenges facing Oregon.

Oregon’s Slow Growth Similar to the Nation

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Oregon Panel approves $7.6M for homeowner help

May 24, 2012 --

By Senate Majority Office

The Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board approved a request for funding this morning that will launch a foreclosure mediation program to help struggling homeowners by July of this year. The program created by Senate Bill 1552 was approved in the final hours of the February Session and is a top priority for Democrats.

“Delivering meaningful foreclosure assistance was one of the key accomplishments of the 2012 Session,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “For too long, banks have taken advantage of struggling Oregonians and ignored the rules. With these dollars, fair mediation for struggling homeowners will be a reality.”

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Problems with our solar war with China

May 23, 2012 --

Eco-nomics: Is Protectionism Green?
By Patrick Emerson,
Oregon Economics Blog

An interesting trade case has been playing out in Washington that has direct implications for Oregon. The Oregonian reports again on the burgeoning trade war on solar panels between the US and China. The war, you may recall has begun with the US charging China with unfair trade practices in solar panels:

SolarWorld blazed toward victory in its trade fight Thursday as the U.S. government announced plans to slap tariffs ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent on Chinese solar panels and cells.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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