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Retail Sales see 3.5 percent jump in July

August 18, 2017 --

Retail Sales Rebound In July, Up 3.5 Percent Over 2016

By Robin Roberts

National Retail Federation

Spending Growth in Online and Building Materials Lead Pack

Retail sales in July increased by 0.6 percent over June on a seasonally adjusted basis, triple the revised 0.2 percent growth seen in June, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation. Sales increased by 3.5 percent year-over-year, a continuation of the growth seen in June and long-term trends. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

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Employment roundup for July

August 17, 2017 --

July’s Strong Job Growth in Oregon Eclipses the Unemployment Rate

Via Oregon Workforce and Economic Information

In July, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 5,900 jobs, following a gain of 8,700 in June. Four of the major industries added more than 1,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added the most, increasing by 2,400 jobs. In addition, strong hiring occurred in construction (+1,200 jobs), health care and social assistance (+1,200), and retail trade (+1,200). Professional and business services was the only major industry to cut more than 1,000, as it shed 1,400 jobs.

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Dealing with eclipse sick-day employees

August 16, 2017 --

Employers and the Eclipse: Are You Prepared for the Path of Totality?

By Sean Ray and Nicole Elgin
Barran Liebman Attorneys

On Monday, August 21, 2017, anyone within the path of totality should be able to see a total solar eclipse. It is the first total solar eclipse to cross from coast to coast in nearly 100 years. With several prime viewing locations throughout Oregon, emergency managers are planning for an influx of about one million visitors into Oregon for several days on either side of Eclipse Day. Businesses should also be prepared for employee absences, crowds of customers, and lots of traffic.

1. Whether to Close

Some businesses have simply decided to close on August 21. However, deciding whether to close the office can be a tough choice for management. There are many factors to consider, including employee and customer safety, business productivity and deadlines, and whether to provide employees with pay during the closure. Starting late or even allowing a few hours off may also be difficult due to the predicted traffic issues. Even though the total eclipse will only last a few minutes, ODOT does not recommend driving at all that day as traffic delays are estimated to be several hours long. Another option that will increase employee attendance and camaraderie is to host an eclipse watching party in the office. Employers can set aside a small portion of the day, provide a good viewing spot with eclipse viewing glasses, and take advantage of a great team-building opportunity while witnessing a rare phenomenon together.

2. Employee Absences

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Oregon National Guard first in Army’s Net Zero Energy pilot program

August 15, 2017 --

Oregon Guard and solar panels: it’s electrifying!

Via DVIDS Defense Video Imagery Distribution System

As part of the Oregon Army National Guard’s (ORARNG) ongoing facility replacements and renovations, the Oregon Military Department (OMD) is adding photovoltaic (PV), or solar, systems to its installations.

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Business Owners: Not so better “Better Naito”

August 14, 2017 --

Portland’s latest attempt to centrally plan transportation patterns is backfiring

Cascade Policy Institute 

By Jessica Miller

Portland has a longstanding history of attempting to socially engineer people’s transportation patterns, and the “Better Naito” project is no different.

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Imports Set Records As Retail Sales Continue to Increase

August 11, 2017 --

Imports Set To Hit New Monthly And Annual Records As Retail Sales Continue To Increase

By J. Craig Shearman

Via National Retail Federation

“Retailers are selling more and that means they need to import more.” NRF VP Jonathan Gold

Boosted by continuing sales growth, August is expected to be the busiest month on record for imports at the nation’s major retail container ports and 2017 is on track to set a new annual high, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

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Oregon needs stronger labor force growth

August 10, 2017 --

Labor Supply, How Much More?

By Josh Lehner

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Right now we know the labor market is tight. Help Wanted signs and media reports of businesses saying they can’t find enough workers are a daily occurrence. Standard economic measures like the unemployment rate agree. If Oregon is to see stronger labor force growth, or labor supply, it will have to come from some combination of faster population growth and/or higher labor force participation rates among Oregonians. The question is: will we get it?

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Governor Brown announced $4.81 million in funding for small businesses

August 9, 2017 --

Governor Brown Announces Suite of Business Development Investments Across Oregon

$4.81 million in funding expected to create or retain 1,778 jobs

Via Office of Oregon Govenor Kate Brown

Governor Kate Brown today announced a package of business development investments from Business Oregon’s Strategic Reserve Fund. The diverse projects include investments in small business growth, rural broadband development, and entrepreneurship support among others.

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How important is earning a Bachelor’s Degree

August 8, 2017 --

Don’t Sell Yourself Short, or the Value of a Bachelor’s Degree

By Felicia Bechtoldt

Via Oregon Workforce and Economic Information


According to data from the Pew Research Center, nearly every American feels that college is very important. Almost all parents (94%) expect their children to attend college, roughly three quarters (73%) of adults feel that college is “…essential to get ahead in life,” and Americans across the board believe they would have a larger salary with a college degree or a smaller salary without one.

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Oregon headed back to pre-Great Recession readings

August 7, 2017 --

Poverty and Progress, SNAP Edition

By Josh Lehner

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

As our office has been highlighting in recent years, Oregon’s economy is now at the point where we are seeing progress made in some of our deeper measures of economic well-being. Nearly all of Oregon’s economic metrics are back, or nearly back to pre-Great Recession readings.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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