Oregon Economic Forecast Summary

Below are excerpts from the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, Sept. 2008, Oregon Economic Forecast. from Oregon Economic and Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Office of Economic Analysis.  Full report here.

The second quarter of 2008 would have been the 20th consecutive quarter of rising employment in the state. This five-year pace was cut short one quarter with a seasonally adjusted job decline of 1.7 percent. Except for the 1.6 percent job growth in the first quarter of 2008, the quarterly job gains have been below 1.0 percent since the second quarter of 2007. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, jobs increased in the second quarter by 0.4 percent.

The same areas which have been pressuring the U.S. economy over the past year are also taking their toll on the Oregon economy. The combined softening impacts of housing, financial, and energy markets are causing widespread slowing in job markets. Employment sectors that lost jobs in the second quarter include construction, manufacturing, retail trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality.

Although the job losses are spread across many sectors, private education and health services had strong job gains. Three others sectors also added jobs in this second quarter: Nondurable goods, wholesale trade, and government. Professional and business services had a mild addition of jobs.

OEA forecasts a decline of 0.7 percent in total employment in the third quarter and further declines of 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. The first quarter of 2009 will still be anemic with growth of 0.4 percent. The Oregon economy does not recover until the latter part of 2009.

The wood products sector is projected to loose jobs at a rate of 7.7 percent in 2008 and 2.1 percentin 2009. As the housing market improves into 2010, wood products jobs should grow 1.8 percent.

The computer and electronic equipment sector will see job declines of 4.7 percent in 2008 and 1.1 percent in 2009. Some improvement is projected for 2010 with job growth of 2.5 percent.

Employment in the transportation equipment industry will decline 7.9 percent in 2008 and 4.1 percent in 2009, before mild growth of 1.3 percent in 2010.

Construction employment is projected to fall by 7.3 percent in 2008 and 2.7 percent in 2009. As the housing market improves in the later part of 2009, employment in this sector should turn positive with growth of 1.5 percent in 2010.

Trade, transportation, and utilities sector is projected to mildly add jobs at a rate of 0.4 percent in 2008, a slight decline of 0.4 percent in 2009, and better growth of 1.8 percent in 2010.

The information sector, which includes traditional publishers such as newspapers and publishers of software, has slowed considerable compared to the plus 3 percent growth of the last two years. This sector will reduce jobs by 0.9 percent in 2008, add jobs at a rate of 0.5 percent in 2009, and grow 1.6 percent in 2010.

The financial sector continues to be battered by the downturn in the housing market. This sector will lose 1.7 percent of jobs in 2008; lose 0.1 percent in 2009, before recovering 2.3 percent employment in 2010.

Professional and business services will increase jobs by 1.1 percent in 2008, continuing a slowing trend that started in 2007. Job growth will continue to weaken with 0.8 percent growth in 2009 and rebound to 4.6 percent growth in 2010.

Education and health services are surviving the downturn better than any other sector. Job growth will be 4.0 percent in 2008, 3.6 percent in 2009, and 2.2 percent in 2010. Health services are especially strong through these years.

Leisure and hospitality has slowed considerably from the 4.4 percent job growth of 2007.

Employment will increase 1.6 percent in 2008. Jobs will slightly decrease in 2009 with positive growth of 1.3 percent in 2010.

The government sector employment will increase by 1.8 percent in 2008, 0.4 percent in 2009, and 0.7 percent in 2010. Population growth will slow but still be above the U.S. growth rate with rates of 1.3 percent in 2008 and 2009 and 1.4 percent in 2010.

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