Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oregon Employment News

Statewide News
This year's diminished snowpack may have difficult consequences for Oregon farmers, about half of whom rely on irrigation to water their lands. You can read more in this article from the Oregonian.

Coincidentally, our other statewide news article is also about farms. Summarizing info from OSU's Extension Program, the Statesman Journal reported last week that in 2009, Oregon farms suffered significantly due to the recession. "Oregon's farmers and ranchers grossed $4.1 billion in sales last year, a 14.8 percent plunge from 2008." The loss was the worst in more than 30 years.

Local News
Signs of economic recovery in Lane County were evident in the University of Oregon's Lane County Business Index (LCBI). The index rose 2.5 percent, which is "consistent with evidence that the national and state economies exited recession in the second half of 2009." Indicators (like housing, tourism, and help wanted ads) were mixed. Details are in the report! (

The Wall Street Journal recently ran this article about pear growers in Medford. According to the article, Southern Oregon is one of the best areas in the world to grow pears, but land use laws cause obstacles for growers. The recession has also hurt the industry.

The Portland Development Commission has launched a program to help small businesses create "green" jobs. Among other goals, the program aims to connect small businesses with available lines of credit through banks and other sources. See the Portland Business Journal article or the "What's New" section of PDC's website,

It's been in the news, so maybe you've heard: In one (lucky) U.S. city, Google plans to build a one gigabyte fiber optic network -- aka, high speed internet unlike anything we've known before! The company hasn't picked a city, but Portland is vying for the chance to win, according to a recent Portland Business Journal article.

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