December 21, 2012 - City tries breakthrough 24-hour permit process

  Phoenix to Approve Permits in 24-Hours By NFIB Which elected officials are the best at unleashing the job-creating abilities of small businesses? Ones who are also small-business owners. NFIB/Arizona salutes one of its own, Sal DiCiccio, pictured to the left, owner of Zenith Development of Arizona. He is also a Phoenix city councilman who just scored a big victory for the economy. Here’s the story: Walk into Phoenix City Hall with your plans today, and walk out and start building today. Call for inspectors before 10 p.m. today, and they’ll show up tomorrow. Thanks to a recent reform of Phoenix’s development process, it’s now the 24-hour city for starting businesses. A key point pushed by Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio, co-chairman of the citizens’ committee that recommended the reforms, was […]

December 20, 2012 - Rural Oregon lags in job growth, employment

By Oregon Employment Department Oregon’s job situation has improved in recent months as more people are finding work. The recovery has been far from ideal however. We have profiled Oregon’s key workforce challenges at the statewide level in other articles, but many of these challenges are more severe in rural Oregon. This article looks at several key workforce challenges in Oregon’s 25 non-metropolitan counties. Unemployment is Persistently Higher in Rural Oregon Persistently high unemployment has long been a challenge for rural Oregon. Unemployment rates in non-metropolitan counties were already higher at the onset of the recession than they were in the metropolitan areas (MSAs) and that continues today. The unemployment rate for the combined non-metropolitan counties was 6.4 percent in December 2007, 1.7 percentage points above the Portland area’s unemployment […]

December 19, 2012 - OSHA Pumps the Brakes on New ‘Employer Knowledge’ Rule

By  J.L. Wilson Associated Oregon Industries Rulemaking Process Slows Down Due to Strong Concerns from Employers As AOI alerted members late last month, Oregon OSHA held two meetings with Oregon employers – on November 7 and November 15 – concerning its intent to promulgate a brand new “employer knowledge” rule in Oregon. AOI and its members were represented at both meetings. It was OSHA’s initial plan that these meetings would satisfy the requirement to have “stakeholder advisory group” meetings that are a necessary precursor to promulgating new rules.

December 18, 2012 - Appeals Courts Interprets “Independent Contractor” Definition Under ORS 670.600

by John Dudrey Stoel Rives World of Employment A new case from the Oregon Court of Appeals, Compressed Pattern LLC v. Employment Department, provides some clarity about the “maintain a separate business location” prong of Oregon’s unique independent contractor statute, ORS 670.600. First, the facts.  In the summer of 2009, a design company retained a recently-laid-off architectural intern to provide drafting services on some of its projects. The design company’s owners agreed to pay him $35.00 an hour for his services, and paid him periodically based on statements of his work he prepared and submitted. The design company provided the architect-intern with general specifications and timelines for the drafting projects, but didn’t otherwise instruct him on how to complete them. It also didn’t provide him with scheduled hours, a workspace, supplies and […]

December 17, 2012 - Make Nike Happy, but Fix the Department of Revenue

Patrick Emerson PhD , OSU Economist Oregon Economics Blog It is a great pleasure to welcome back Fred Thompson of Willamette University with this guest post on the Nike deal. I have been simply too busy to do this blog and many recent Oregon policy topics (like this one) justice so Fred’s contribution is both timely and very welcome. Governor Kitzhaber has called the state legislature into special session to give him the authority to make special guarantees to big employers to stabilize their tax structures for specified periods. This proposal is addressed to an arcane aspect of corporate income-tax policy called apportionment. Apportionment determines how much of a multi-state business’s income is subject to in-state taxation. Most states apportion corporate tax liabilities on three factors: in-state revenue, employment, and […]

December 16, 2012 - Survey looks at why businesses make bad hiring

Nearly Seven in Ten Businesses Affected by a Bad Hire in the Past Year, According to CareerBuilder Survey —Nearly One-in-Four Employers Reported a Bad Hire Cost Them More than $50,000 By Career Builders, Hiring the right person to fill a position can be a difficult decision to make, and a new CareerBuilder study shows the cost of choosing incorrectly can be high. Sixty-nine percent of employers reported that their companies have been adversely affected by a bad hire this year, with 41 percent of those businesses estimating the cost to be over $25,000. Twenty-four percent said a bad hire cost them more than $50,000. “Whether it’s a negative attitude, lack of follow through or other concern, the impact of a bad hire is significant,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of […]

December 15, 2012 - Video: Google releases top 2012 search items

Daniel Sieberg is in fact an official “Google Trends Expert”. He lays out the various top search results on Google for the world. Watch the Wall Street Journal interview and lists for the top Google search.

December 14, 2012 - What legalized marijuana means for broadcasters

  by David Oxenford, Broadcast Blog Davis Dwight & Tremaine LLP Oregon business law firm As personal marijuana use becomes decriminalized in the states of Washington and Colorado, we once again repeat our warning to broadcasters who may be looking to pot sales as a new source of advertising revenue – remember that the Federal government still thinks that the drug is illegal. The US Attorney’s Office in Seattle has reportedly issued a statement reminding residents in Washington State of that fact, and told Washingtonians that the Department of Justice plans to enforce Federal law on all Federal properties in the state. How does this affect broadcasters? 

December 13, 2012 - PC sales declines first time in 11 years

PC sales in sharp decline By Oregon Small Business Association Analysts at IDC and Gartner Inc. said PC shipments in this year’s third quarter were down by 87.5 million, or 8% lower than a year ago. A report from IHS iSuppli projected that overall sales would decline this year for the first time in 11 years. “This is definitively a crossroads” for the computer industry, IDC analyst David Daoud told the Wall Street Journal. “It could be a make or break moment.” Sales of personal computers are in sharp decline, fueled by the weak economy, falling PC sales in emerging countries, and the rising popularity of smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad and the Galaxy Tab

December 12, 2012 - Unemployment & Fiscal Cliff jitters Oregon economy

University of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes By Tim Duy Oregon Economic Forum University of  Oregon Oregon economic indicators improved modestly in October. Highlights of the report include: • The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity rose to -0.58 from an upwardly revised -0.80 in September. The three-month moving average also rose to -0.44, where “zero” for this measure indicates the average growth rate over the 1990-present period). • The most notable drags on the measure were the unemployment rate, which remains elevated, and slowing leisure and hospitality employment growth. Construction employment contributed positively to the measure, offsetting a decline the previous month. Hours worked in manufacturing also contributed positively, in contrast to recent softness in national measures of manufacturing activity. Overall, the Oregon economy is growing near to somewhat below its […]