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Wyden: Study police facial recognition uses

August 31, 2018 --

Senator Ron Wyden,

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., with Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., asked the Government Accountability Office to study both commercial and government use of facial recognition to determine the potential market, uses, and possible abuses of the technology.

“Given the recent advances in commercial facial recognition technology — and its expanded use by state, local, and federal law enforcement, particularly the FBI and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement — we ask that you investigate and evaluate the facial recognition industry and its government use,” the members wrote.

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Oregon brewing seeing slower growth

August 30, 2018 --

By Oregon Employment Department,

A brewing establishment is any location with onsite brewing, including large manufacturing breweries, brew pubs, and nano breweries. Those establishments with at least one covered employee and brewing on site were included in this analysis. As a result home brewers and pubs without onsite brewing were not included.

Although we continue to see new breweries and pubs being created each year, an increasing number are also closing up shop. When accounting for these closures the state only netted three new brewing establishments that reported payroll in 2017. Additionally, employment growth in the brewing industry is slowing dramatically compared with several years ago. Last year the industry expanded by 6.2 percent (+480 jobs). This is rapid growth when compared with the 2.1 percent growth in total nonfarm employment over the past year, but significantly slower than the 13.4 percent growth in breweries’ employment back in 2015.

Brewing employment continues to be dominated by pubs, which account for around 68 percent (5,560 jobs) of all brewing jobs. Not only are pubs the largest employers, but they are also the fastest growing. Over the past year pubs added around 460 jobs (+9%), while manufacturing breweries only netted 12 new jobs (+0.5%). Despite the slower employment growth, manufacturing brewing establishments are higher paying; their average wage is 45 percent higher than pubs. This isn’t too surprising as a large share of the employment in pubs is concentrated in restaurant occupations, such as waiters and waitresses; food preparation; dishwashers; and cooks.
You can read more about Oregon’s brewing industry here
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Historic Era — 14 Economic Records Broken

August 29, 2018 --

By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation

1. Economic growth: The U.S. is currently in the second longest expansion since records have been kept and will break the record for longest expansion in U.S. History if it continues into summer. Four of the five longest expansions have occurred since 1980 making the past four decades the most prosperous generation in U.S. History.

2. Unemployment: This May 2018, U.S. unemployment hit the lowest rate in 18 years, as did teen unemployment.

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Scammers posing as Oregon Dept. of Justice

August 28, 2018 --

By Oregon Attorney General Office,

We heard about a new scam that is circulating the country, and it made us immediately concerned. At least one person has already lost her life savings! Once again, this one uses us — the Oregon Department of Justice — to try to scam its targets out of their hard-earned money. So, please keep reading…

The scam is designed to get you to think you are a victim of identity theft. In fact, you are not! But you may soon be if you follow their instructions, which are aimed at getting access to your social security number, bank and retirement accounts, and other personal records.

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State’s biggest business lobby new CEO

August 27, 2018 --

Oregon Business & Industry

Oregon Business & Industry (OBI), the leading voice of business and industry in the state, today announced Sandra (Sandi) McDonough as the business association’s chief executive officer effective October 8.

“After an extensive selection process, we are delighted that Sandra will lead OBI as we continue to deepen our impact across the state,” said Scott Parrish, OBI board chair. “Sandi is a visionary leader with a proven track record. She understands the importance of working with our members to strengthen Oregon’s economy and ensure a prosperous state for all Oregonians.”

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Stocks break record — longest streak

August 25, 2018 --

by Jason D. Norris, CFA
Executive Vice President of Research
Ferguson Wellman,
Oregon Capital Management firm

Earlier this week, The Eagles’ Greatest Hits surpassed Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the best-selling album of all time. I would argue that “greatest hits” albums should be excluded, but that’s neither here nor there. Also, this month, the S&P 500 set the record for the longest streak without a 20 percent decline, or bull market. This trend started in March of 2009 and has lasted over 3500 days. The previous feat was the 1990s bull market which finally ended with the burst of the Internet Bubble in 2001.

Heartache Tonight

The most amazing item about this run in U.S. equities is the lack of participation of the average investor. While it is difficult to always be able to sell at the top and buy at the bottom, investors have been skeptical of this rally the entire time. The chart below highlights the rise in the S&P 500, coupled with fund flows of U.S. equity mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

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Two Tax Reform typos are costing retail millions

August 24, 2018 --

By National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation  applauded Senate Finance Committee Republicans for clarifying the congressional intent of provisions of the federal tax reform law related to depreciation rules and “carryback” of operating losses. In a letter, the senators called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service Acting Commissioner David Kautter to reflect this congressional intent in any guidance they issue pertaining to these provisions and in the IRS enforcement of the law. The two errors in the law are costing the retail industry millions of dollars and delaying investments.

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How election law changes may impact your company

August 23, 2018 --

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Oregon & Multi-state law firm,

Davis Wright Tremaine has developed a State Political Advertising Law Survey, which we can make available to our clients covering all 50 states or a subset of selected states

With the 2018 election season rapidly approaching, legislators across the country are focused on filling gaps in election laws that have been alleged to have allowed Russian intelligence officials to utilize digital advertising tools to attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election. Two states, Washington and Maryland, recently enacted new laws regulating political advertising, and new legislation has been introduced in California, Connecticut, and New York, among other states. These laws expand definitions of election-related advertising and impose affirmative disclosure requirements on the media and other entities accepting advertisements to create and maintain searchable online databases about who paid for political ads.

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Chart: Fastest growing OR,WA cities

August 22, 2018 --

Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis,

Recently I gave a broader, regional outlook talk that included many attendees who were either from Washington or had clients or offices north of the border.

Overall there is not a massive difference between the states in terms of where they are in the business cycle, the risks to the outlook, and the like. Our office’s counterparts, the Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, have the same general flavor in their forecasts, namely slowing economic, revenue, and population growth as the economy transitions down to more sustainable rates. Their labor market is similarly tight due to both the cycle and booming retirements.

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Labor board’s union representation decision

August 21, 2018 --

By Bullard Law,
Oregon law firm

A recent decision from a three-member panel of the NLRB appears to depart from over 40 years of precedent regarding an employee’s right to union representation during an investigatory interview. Last month, in Circus Circus Casinos, Inc., 366 NLRB 110 (2018), the Board held that an employer committed an unfair labor practice by not taking affirmative steps to ensure an employee had a union representative present at an investigatory interview. The Board found that the employee’s ambiguous statement—that he contacted the union but got no response and was without representation—was sufficient notice to the employer that the employee desired representation. Although the Board did not change the legal standard for when an employee may have a union representative present, this decision suggests the burden is on employers to ensure that a unionized employee does not desire representation at an investigatory interview if there is any ambiguity.

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