October 18, 2018 - Who is driving Oregon wage growth

By Damon Runberg Oregon Employment Department Wages in Oregon have been on the rise over the past three years. From fourth quarter 2014 to fourth quarter 2017, the quarterly average wage (smoothed and adjusted for inflation) rose by around 6.7 percent (+$800 per quarter). This is seemingly good news, right? This means that during that three-year period the average worker had more disposable income when accounting for the increased cost of goods and services.

October 17, 2018 - Measure 26-201 would be a sales tax

By the Tax Foundation Since 1927 Key Findings – Portland, Oregon, is considering Measure 26-201 which, if adopted, would create a 1 percent gross receipts tax within the city limit. – The tax would apply to retailers with more than $1 billion in national sales and $500,000 in Portland-specific sales. It would also include large service-based firms, including retail banking services. – The tax as currently proposed, however, functions more closely to a sales tax, something that Oregon residents have traditionally opposed. – While large companies will bear the legal incidence of the tax, the economic incidence of the tax will be felt by Portland residents. The tax would result in higher prices for consumers and fewer job opportunities for residents. – If adopted, the tax would actually decrease Oregon’s […]

October 16, 2018 - 8 voices from tech titans, celebrities, journalists on Paul Allen’s death

By Jim Miller, Here are eight unique voices on the various contributions Paul Allen made to the nation. How Paul Allen kept the Seahawks in Seattle From the Seattle Post Intelegencer “In 1997, only one person was willing to take the risk of owning an NFL team when the roof was literally falling in on sports in Seattle,” King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer said in a statement. “Paul Allen was that person. Every family that comes together to watch the Seahawks play, whether in Seattle or in London, in their living rooms or at Century Link, should forever be thankful to Paul Allen and the Allen family. When there was not a lot to celebrate on the front page, the Seahawks gave us a lot to celebrate on the […]

October 15, 2018 - Oregon #12 in nation’s Best State Economies

By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation A strong national economy—the strongest in decades—is reflected by growth in the West Coast states, which ranked among the top 12 in a study recently conducted by 24/7 Wall Street. While Colorado ranked first, Washington had the fifth fastest-growing economy while California was eighth and Oregon 12th. The study’s authors reviewed statistics for poverty, unemployment, job growth, college attainment and economic growth, according to an Aug. 27 USA Today story.

October 12, 2018 - Restaurant group backs Measure 104

By Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Oregon has a strong track record of enhancing tourism and creating thousands of jobs that trigger local economic growth while making Oregon a top travel destination. That is why we are supporting Measure 104 – it will ensure tax fairness for businesses and consumers. Join the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and protect the entrepreneurial spirit that brings award-winning plates from chefs who use Oregon’s farm fresh Marionberries and hazelnuts, salmon and crab and thousands of handcrafted beers and wines.

October 11, 2018 - Boom: Oregon breaks construction record!

By Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s construction industry reached a record high number of jobs in recent months, employing nearly 110,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The industry added jobs steadily and rapidly in recent years, following a prolonged slump in 2009 through 2012, when employment remained near 70,000 for several years after the last recession. Looking back 30 years, clearly the industry has been highly cyclical – experiencing booms and busts over the course of multi-year expansions that were followed by briefer, but potentially precipitous contractions. In the late 1990s the industry hovered close to 80,000 jobs for several years, dropped some jobs in a mild recession and then resumed its climb. Just before the 2008 recession, Oregon’s construction industry was slightly below today’s employment total, at about 104,000 jobs. […]

October 10, 2018 - Pay inequity lawsuit hits Oregon Legislature

By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation A woman who works for the Oregon Legislature as a researcher and analyst has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that she is paid less than her male counterparts with the same qualifications doing the same job. Cheyenne Ross, a lawyer who has worked for the Legislative Policy and Research Office since 2009, had already filed a lawsuit over pay inequity in Marion County Circuit Court last summer, according to a Willamette Week article in July.

October 9, 2018 - Uninsured rate falling — but not in Oregon

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation, America’s uninsured rate held essentially steady from 2016 to 2017, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau figures. Oregon, however, one of the few states to see a significant uptick in the uninsured rate. Uninsured Oregonians make up 6.8 percent of the state’s population, an increase of 0.6 percentage points from the year before. That amounts to 30,000 more uninsured in 2017 than in 2016.

October 8, 2018 - DeFazio take on new NAFTA pact

Congressman Peter DeFazio, “While I am still reviewing the text of the new trade deal, I am extremely disappointed that the Trump administration was unable to follow through on their promise to eliminate the damaging Chapter 19 provision that existed in the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” said Rep. DeFazio. “The preservation of Chapter 19 is a tremendous blow to American businesses and workers, particularly in the softwood lumber industry. For decades, Canada has used Chapter 19 to undermine U.S. trade law and challenge our anti-dumping and countervailing duties. This provision allows a foreign tribunal of private citizens to overturn U.S. trade remedies designed to level the playing field between the U.S. and the heavily-subsidized Canadian softwood lumber industry.”

October 5, 2018 - Settlement doesn’t fix swipe-fee abuse

By National Retail Federation The National Retail Federation said a proposed new class action settlement, which purports to resolve claims that Visa and MasterCard set credit card swipe fees in a multi-billion dollar price-fixing scheme, largely resembles part of an agreement that both a federal appellate court and the retail industry had already rejected. “The monetary settlement doesn’t solve the problem. Swipe fees cost retailers and their customers tens of billions of dollars a year and have been skyrocketing for nearly two decades,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Martz said. “Ending the practices that lead to these anticompetitive fees is the only way to give merchants and consumers full relief once and for all.”