By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog
Unlike the nation, unfortunately, Oregon’s Great Recession does have a modern peer: the early 1980s. Our office has documented the similarities numerous times over the years, from the unemployment rate to total jobs and from housing starts to manufacturing jobs and the like. Below are a few updates to the comparison and add in our new measure of the Total Employment Gap. First, total employment in Oregon returned to pre-recession levels following the Great Recession 3 months ahead of the early 80s recovery, or nearly 7 years after job losses started (83 months overall today vs 86 months back in the 80s.) Similarly the unemployment rate and even the U-6 measure of labor market utilization followed very similar paths to the 1980s. In early 2015 both measures were actually a bit below their comparative figures nearly 30 years ago.
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