Oregon Economy
The Oregon Economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. With important and growing industries in manufacturing, apparel, and green technologies, Oregon has a solid base in vital markets that will continue to be of great value to the economy moving forward.

Oregon Total GSP

Total gross state product is the sum of all products sold and distributed in Oregon during a year. This is usually used to indicate the size of the economy, which includes all private sector transactions along with government spending such as school spending, infrastructure spending, and health care spending. Although the economy took a slight dip during the recession, the economy has been increasing steadily over the last few years.
GSP Growth

GSP growth measures how much total GSP has increases from one year to the next. This measure shows the state of the economy as opposed to the size. The state of the economy is a vital factor because it shows, especially after coming out of a recession, how fast the economy is recovering. In this regard, Oregon had the 2nd highest growth rate of all states in 2011. This shows that the Oregon economy has been one of the fastest economies to start to recover from the recession, and is in great position to improve in the future. This prospect for growth will help make Oregon more competitive and could sway more companies and high skilled workers to relocate or expand into Oregon.
GSP Per Capita

GSP per capita shows how much GSP the state has per person. This statistic is used to show the efficiency of the economy. This is an equalizer in terms of big states and small states, and can show how effective the economy is at maximizing its labor force and machinery to produce more output per person. As of 2011, the Oregon GSP per capita was ranked 11th in the nation. This shows that, per person, Oregon has an above average efficiency but has room for improvement in this respect. The trend has also moved upwards and recently overtook Washington which historically has had a larger GSP per capita than Oregon.
Oregon Employment
One of the biggest problems facing Oregon right now is that so many of its workers are currently out of work. Oregon's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country, however it is important to see where the jobs are located in the economy and what industries have the highest potential for growth in terms of employment.

Unemployment

At 8.9 as of August 2012, Oregon's unemployment has lagged behind most states since the recession hit. This could be caused by a decline in housing and other related industries, or by an ineffective government response to the recession. This is one of the biggest challenges for the Oregon economy moving forward and must be discussed by our legislature in the near future in order to turn this number around, and put Oregonians back to work.
Household Income

Household Income has been one of the indicators in Oregon that has made the best improvements since the recession hit, almost back to pre-recession levels. However, ranked as 23rd in the nation, Oregon has a lot of improvements it could make to increase these numbers and give middle income families more financial security and purchasing power. This starts with increasing the number of high skill jobs available in Oregon, and moving towards our 40-40-20 goal for education which would create a more skilled workforce to fill these job vacancies.
Employment by Business Size

Due to Oregon's high levels of manufacturing companies, our employment is largely reliant on big businesses. With over 3/4 of our private sector employment coming from businesses with over 20 employees it is important for us to attract these types of companies to Oregon and to implement legislation that is friendly to businesses that are such a large part of our economy.
Oregon Exports
The Oregon economy has always had a very important export industry. Although recently the trend has shifted from logging and forestry exports to being mainly dominated by the high tech manufacturing industry, exports remain an important component of the Oregon economy.

Exports as % of GSP

The Oregon Economy is closely tied with its exports. Almost 10% of all GSP comes from Oregon exports. Although this lags significantly behind Washington's 18%, it remains a significant portion of our total GSP and should be considered an important factor when discussing Oregon's policy towards bringing in and keeping businesses with large export potential.
Export Employment

Export employment shows how much of Oregon's employment is being employed directly by the export market. This percentage does not, however, include all of the employees that work for companies that export from Oregon. If this percentage were to include all employees of companies that export it would be significantly higher. Although Oregon is below Washington in this figure, more employees are employed by exports here than in most of our geographically competitive states, and also the United States as a whole.
Oregon Exports by Sector

Oregon's export market is dominated by the manufacturing sector. Led by the high technology sector which manufactures computer and electronic products, the future of the Oregon export economy will have a large emphasis on the manufacturing sector. Besides agricultural products, that consist of all farming and forestry exports, manufacturing in chemical, machinery, and transportation make up the other large export sectors in the Oregon economy.
Key Sectors


Minimum Wage in Oregon: Teens

Did you know that more than half of minimum wage workers in the U.S. are between the ages of 16 and 24?  These young employees are often still transitioning into adulthood, and a short-term, minimum wage job gives them a much needed opportunity to gain the skills for a higher-paying job.

For younger people, especially teens, increases in the minimum wage can have unfavorable effects.  As teens become more expensive to employ, companies are less willing to invest time and money to help them develop needed skills.  A high minimum wage has the effect of limiting opportunities for young people to develop work experience.

In fact, Oregon’s high minimum wage is already impacting teen employment.  In 2013, more than 27% of Oregon teens age 16-19 were unemployed.  This rate is more than 5 percentage points above the 2013 national average teen unemployment rate, which means that teenagers in Oregon are at a big disadvantage as they look for work.

So what happens when Oregon teens can’t find jobs?  Statistics tell us that teens who don’t work in high school earn lower wages in early adulthood.  According to a study by the Employment Policies Institute, teens who worked 20 hours per week in their senior year of high school had 20% higher annual earnings six to nine years later than those who did not.  

So not only are early job opportunities critical to teens in developing good work habits and skills, they also impact future earnings.  And as Oregon seeks to reenergize a lagging economy, we need to carefully consider any policy change that could hamper anyone’s future paycheck.