Oregon Economy
Oregon has 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 enrich the economy moving forward.

Per capita GDP

Oregon’s per capita GDP, adjusted for inflation, has been growing fairly consistently—and more quickly than both Washington and the U.S.-- over the past 15 years. If this trend continues, Oregon may even pass Washington’s per capita GDP in the future.
GDP Growth

Real GDP growth in Oregon has been quite volatile, but, in all but the worst of the 2009 recession, GDP growth has remained positive. It has also generally exceeded Washington and the U.S.’s GDP growth rates. Ensuring a strong Oregon economy in the future is crucial to continuing this remarkable pattern of growth.
Household income

Oregon’s median household income, adjusted for inflation, has remained relatively steady over the past 15 years and has only recently exceeded the US’s real median household income. However, Oregon still trails Washington in this statistic.
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.


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

Holiday Shopping

It’s only a week until Thanksgiving, and retailers are gearing up for a hectic and busy holiday season. The National Retail Federation released its most optimistic outlook about holiday retail shopping sales in years, anticipating an increase of 4.1% this year, to $616.9 billion nationwide. Holiday sales in the past 10 years have only grown by an average of 2.9%, so a significant boost in retail sales over previous years could help retailers in their slow but steady recovery from the 2009 recession.

And, more holiday shopping leads to more jobs. Nationally, retailers will hire between 725,000 and 800,000 temporary workers this year. This seasonal employment gives many workers the starting experience they need for the chance for a long-term position in retail.

But this year, there’s a serious unexpected problem for west coast retailers: will stores be able to get their merchandise in time for the holidays? Ports up and down the west coast are experiencing delays as 20,000 longshoremen currently working without a contract enact slowdowns. The International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union’s agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (which represents ports and terminals across the west coast) expired this last July, and, even after months of negotiation, no new contract agreement has been reached.

West coast ports are vital for the U.S. economy. About 12.5% of U.S. GDP is linked to west coast ports, and a study by the National Retail Federation estimates a west coast port lockout or strike could cost the economy $2 billion per day. And it’s not just retailers that are impacted by slowdowns or shutdowns; farmers aren’t able to ship their products, leading to food spoiling. Manufacturing businesses are left without crucial base materials, and may have to layoff employees for the duration of a slowdown.

For some companies, flying in merchandise instead of sending it on a cargo ship is an option. But, air freight often costs 10 times more than ship freight, and higher shipping costs mean higher costs to consumers. If the west coast port slowdown continues – or is allowed to worsen into a strike or lockout – holiday shopping will suffer not only from lack of products, but also from the smaller paychecks many manufacturing employees will receive, as companies are forced to impose temporary layoffs while cargo is delayed.

What does the port slowdown mean for consumers? According to a consumer survey by the National Retail Federation, the average shopper is planning to spend $804 this holiday season. But, if stores’ merchandise does not arrive in time, shoppers won’t spend as much, and the west coast’s economy may experience a disappointing holiday season.