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Oregon's Unemployment Soars To The Worst In The Nation

Normally a higher wage state with many quality union jobs, Oregon's March unemployment rate has soared to a dismal 12.1%, likely the worst in the nation even beyond the 12.0% unemployment rate of Michigan as the Detroit automobile industry collapses in the wake of this serious global recession.

While the federal stimulus efforts are targeted at boosting the economy quickly by even boosting such things as Food Stamps payments, immediately boosting sales at grocery stores, often in poor neighborhoods, creating more employment, Oregon's own version of economic stimulus has been slow to create new jobs. Oregon's own version of economic stimulus passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor was intended to help the 24% unemployment rate among construction workers by providing $175 million in projects funding. However, because the process to start these projects is so slow, so far just 16 jobs have been created by this $175 million in project funding. It may take months to years for many unemployment construction workers to see work from the state version of the economic stimulus which just was not as well focused as the federal version by any means.

Even Oregon business is seeing serious financial problems a result of this continuing recession. Joes, a major automotive parts and sporting goods dealer, which started out as war surplus store, which has 30 stores in 3 states, including some huge Oregon stores is going into liquidation and closing within a month.

A major downtown Portland, Oregon construction project is being stopped for months to a year, because the developer simply ran out of money after digging a huge excavation site hole. In other cases, uncompleted urban development shopping projects are offering rent allowances of $25,000 or more for any prospective retail renters who will bring in money to provide basic items such as interior walls, ceilings, lights, toilets, sinks, etc. Developers started projects, and then ran out of money, leaving uncompleted and largely unrentable retail sites that are not even as well completed as the average home garage. These uncompleted construction eyesores are a sign of the times as developers start projects and then run out of money to complete the projects.

At all levels, Oregon is seeing serious signs of this recession causing serious problems in construction work at all levels including huge unemployment and now uncompleted construction projects.

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Comments (6)


Hey Paul, think it has anything to do with all the Tax Increases (including Bird Seed) that they're proposing in Salem? A few hundred folks in Astoria roared their disapproval this evening.

-[another right wing kook]

Alan Orfi:

I wonder why the states run predominately by liberals have the highest rates of unemployment. It couldn't be that higher taxes drive businesses away, could it?

Paul Hooson:

Hello Epador. Unemployment doesn't have much relationship to taxes in most instances, except for smaller employers who have to curtail their work force because their expenses are so high compared to their gross income revenue. But the serious issue is that Oregon with the loss of so much shipping through the Port Of Portland from China and other Asian lands has lost so much revenue for the state. Exports to the U.S. from China are down so much due to the global recession that 70,000 Chinese factories have closed and 20 million Chinese workers have lost their jobs.

In Salem, the problem is that the shortfall in revenue to maintain basic state functions has gotten so bad because of the huge unemployment problem, that some serious budget cuts as well as tax increases or fee increases are being looked at as possible solutions to the problem of the worst unemployment in the nation.

Local property taxes are by far the worst taxes that Oregonians have to pay. In many cases, older Oregonians can receive much of their state or federal taxes back as refunds. But the local taxes can run into the thousands for many Oregonians, making it difficult for many including the elderly to stay in their own homes. This is a serious problem. Yet who would want to open the door to a sales tax here.

The problem is that schools, police and firemen all cost money. And that requires taxes to pay for.

Back in the late 60's there was a protest bumper sticker that said, "Don't Like Police---Call A Hippie!". By the same token, high taxes are a very serious issue, however tax protesters can't protect your neighborhood from crime, you educate your kids, or respond to a heart attack victim in your neighborhood like firemen paramedics can with 911. Tax protesters identify a problem, yet offer no real solution for the problem of this cycle of recession erasing surplus tax revenues and creating a shortfall in funds.


Libs always claim to do a better job, but, look at places where they've had control for a long time, NJ, Det-riot, Oregon, etc.

Are they 'better'?


Don't forget Maryland GianiD, where the POS Gov O'Malley "I Lie Alot", swore last years tax hikes would solve the budget problems...guess where Maryland is at now...looking at more tax increases...

Christina Viering:

I didn't think any place could be worse than FL.


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