Monday, May 9, 2011

Positive news from the UO Index, Intel, and Harry & David

In March, the Oregon Economic Index from the UO increased for the fifth month in a row, rising by 0.7 percent (to 92.0). The indicators showing improvement were initial unemployment claims, residential building permits, manufacturing, and consumer confidence. The report mentions that the growth is continuing at a gradual pace, and that "the (economic) recovery is still anticipated to be a lengthy process". More details are available in May's 2-page report.

Intel was in the news again last week, this time announcing a breakthrough from their research and design department. The company has added a third dimension to the transistor (normally it's flat), and thus Intel will "boost computing speeds and conserve energy". The new technology will be integrated almost immediately; "they'll be widely available in PCs and laptops early in 2012." So three cheers for one of Oregon's largest employers and the great work they do right here in our state!

We've tried to keep track of the changes taking place at the large Southern Oregon employer Harry & David. Early last month we reported that the company had filed for bankruptcy. We recently read that despite their financial struggles, the company is still planning to hire thousands of people to handle increased demand from now through the holiday season. Most of the jobs will likely be "in orchards and warehouse operations."

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