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The state of Oregon’s income, wages

February 14, 2017 --

By Oregon Employment Department,

Per Capita Personal Income in Oregon’s Counties

 In 2015, Oregon had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $43,783. The PCPI ranked 29th in the United States and was 91 percent of the national average, $48,112, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In Oregon, the 2015 PCPI increased by 5.0 percent from 2014, faster than the nationwide PCPI growth rate of 3.7 percent. In 2005, Oregon’s PCPI was $32,421 and ranked 32nd in the United States.

Personal income is the sum of three main components: net earnings (wages, salaries, employer contributions); personal current transfer receipts (retirement, Medicare, unemployment insurance); and dividends, interest, and rent. PCPI is calculated by dividing the area’s personal income by its total population.

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S&P near record high

February 13, 2017 --

ralph-coleby Ralph Cole, CFA
Executive Vice President of Research
Ferguson Wellman,
A leading Oregon financial firm

The Week in Review

February 10, 2017 – It was another solid week in the markets. The S&P 500 was up almost 1 percent to record highs. Interest rates were relatively quiet with the 10-year Treasury finishing the week yielding 2.40 percent. Oil rallied modestly and is now up to $54.00 per barrel.

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Good news – Retail expects 4% growth

February 10, 2017 --

National Retail Federation,

The National Retail Federation released its economic forecast for 2017, projecting that retail industry sales, which exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants, will grow between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016. Online and other non-store/online sales, which are included in the overall number, are expected to increase between 8 and 12 percent.


“The economy is on firm ground as we head into 2017 and is expected to build on the momentum we saw late last year,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With jobs and income growing and debt relatively low, the fundamentals are in place and the consumer is in the driver’s seat. But this year is unlike any other – while consumers have strength they haven’t had in the past, they will remain hesitant to spend until they have more certainty about policy changes on taxes, trade and other issues being debated in Congress.

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Nearly 1 in 4 workers are 55+

February 9, 2017 --

Nearly One in Four Workers in Oregon is 55 or Older
By Oregon Employment Department,

Oregon’s workforce is aging. The number of Oregon jobs held by workers age 55 and over tripled from 1992 to 2015, while the total number of jobs grew by just 42 percent. Workers 55 and over held just 10 percent of the jobs in 1992, increasing their share to 23 percent of all jobs by 2015. Driving this trend is the fact that much of the Baby Boom Generation is now 55 and over, and they are more likely to be in the labor force than previous generations were at this age. Many of these workers are probably planning to retire in the next 10 years, taking their skills and experience with them.

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Self-employed income below national average

February 8, 2017 --

Look Both Ways Before You Tax
By Anthony K. Smith

As of February 1, the Oregon Legislative Assembly is back in session. Among the most talked about issues for the Legislature to tackle will be the 2017-2019 state budget and funding a major transportation package. At the heart of both discussions will be taxes.

Most people would rather not think about taxes, or at the very least just once per year, usually on a grim, gloomy day in April when all other efforts to procrastinate have failed. Few people bring up taxes in casual conversations, and not on a regular basis.

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Con. Schrader backs President’s regulation fix

February 7, 2017 --

Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader,
Press Release,

Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) released the following statement on the President’s Executive Order to Reduce Regulation and Control Regulatory Costs:

“For years I’ve heard from schools, teachers, small business owners, farmers, workers and taxpayers in my district that there are too many rules and regulations coming from Washington, D.C,” said Rep. Schrader. “It’s time to get rid of antiquated, outdated rules that interfere in local control and decision making. DC should be in the business of producing outcomes, not micromanagement. If not much else, at least the new President understands this.”

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2017 to deliver faster growth than 2016

February 6, 2017 --

Jason-00011_cmyk by Jason Norris, CFA
Executive Vice President of Research
Ferguson Wellman,
A leading Oregon financial firm

The Week That Was

It was an active week on the political, economic and Fed front, but markets were generally quiet. The S&P 500 finished mildly positive, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield remained at 2.49 percent.

Good News First

Friday’s jobs numbers propelled stocks to roughly break even on the week. While the gain of 227,000 jobs in January was meaningfully above the estimate of 175,000, the unemployment rate ticked up and wage growth ticked down. The increase from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent in the unemployment rate was due to more people entering the labor force, thus not much of a negative. Wage growth declined to 2.5 percent from 2.8 percent but is still relatively healthy. However, the softness in wage growth and the slight uptick in the unemployment rate led to a drop in yields on Friday. The 10-year U.S. Treasury ended the week down 0.08 percent to 2.43 percent.

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Rethinking corporate disclosures

February 3, 2017 --

Chamber-of-commerceU.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC) released Essential Information: Modernizing Our Corporate Disclosure System, a white paper exploring the future of corporate disclosures and why materiality is, and should remain, the guiding principle for public company disclosure.

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Oregon AG joins 15 states in immigration order

February 2, 2017 --

By Oregon Dept. of Justice,

Joint Statement Issued By A.G.’s Of NY, CA, PA, WA, MA, HI, VA, OR, DC, CT, VT, IL, NM, IA, ME & MD

“As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump’s unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.

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Courts reject Union Preference Case

February 1, 2017 --

bullard-law2Bullard Law, Portland law firm

The National Labor Relations Board recently pursued an outcome that was unfair to business.  (“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”)  Fortunately, the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the NLRB’s arguments.

This is really a simple case.  People recognize basic fairness when they see it.  Consider these epigrams.

  • “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
    (English playwright John Heywood, 1562)
  • “In case of dissension, never dare to judge till you’ve heard the other side.”
    (Greek playwright Euripides, circa 430 B.C.)
  • “You cut, I choose.” (Said by my sister Kathy to me or vice versa on numerous occasions back in the day)

In the same way, a basic lack of fairness also is easy to spot.

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