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

Oregons per capita GDP, adjusted for inflation, has been growing fairly consistentlyand more quickly than both Washington and the U.S.-- over the past 15 years. If this trend continues, Oregon may even pass Washingtons 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

Oregons median household income, adjusted for inflation, has remained relatively steady over the past 15 years and has only recently exceeded the USs real median household income. However, Oregon still trails Washington in this statistic.
Oregon Employment
Oregon's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country; one of Oregons biggest problems right now is that so many of its workers are out of work. However, overall unemployment has been slowly decreasing, and it is important to see where jobs are located in the economy and what industries have the highest potential for employment growth.


Oregons unemployment rate has been consistently higher than both the U.S. and Washingtons unemployment rates over the past decade. Helping businesses create new jobs is a crucial goal to decrease Oregons unemployment.
Top 5 Industries for Oregon Employment

Oregon has many different industries driving its vibrant economy. Many Oregon jobs are within the healthcare and retail industries, but manufacturing, government, and food and lodging are also crucial for keeping Oregonians employed. Beyond these top-5 industries, many Oregonians are also employed in the production and distribution of durable goods as well as with financial-related occupations.
Oregon employment by business size

More than half of Oregons workers are employed by companies with fewer than 100 employees, and over a quarter are employed by companies with fewer than 20 employees. As policymakers continue to adjust employment regulations, it is important to consider the many small businesses that employ the majority of Oregonians.
Oregon Exports
Exports have always been a crucial sector of the Oregon economy. Although recently major exports have shifted from logging and forestry to high tech manufacturing and related industries, exports still remain an important component of the Oregon economy and play an important role in both Oregons GDP and its employment.

Export Employment

Oregons employment is helped by its stronger-than-average export market. While Washington exports account for a larger percentage of jobs than in Oregons exports do, Oregon still has a larger portion of jobs associated with exports than California and the US as a whole.
Oregon Exports by Sector

Oregons export industry is particularly strong in computers and electronics manufacturing, and agriculture also plays an important role.
Key Sectors

Employers Need Flexibility to Serve Customers, Workers

Sometimes a business’ needs and a worker’s needs don’t match up. To use an example that’s become painfully familiar this winter, what if a shift manager can’t get to the coffee shop where he works because of icy roads? Does the manager or owner close the shop or get someone else to cover the shift? Most managers would explore various options, weighing the potential loss of business and the potential inconvenience to workers, before making a decision. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for Oregon employers to make those decisions because of restrictions placed on them by regulators and Legislators.

Oregon has experienced an unusually rapid increase in workplace mandates over the past two years. These include wage transparency rules, increases in the minimum wage, mandated paid sick leave, implementation of a low-carbon fuel standard, restrictions on how hiring information can be obtained and used from convicted felons, increases in the fees attorneys can charge for workers’ compensation cases, mandatory extension of health care benefits through family medical leave, responsibility for administering a new state retirement plan and, most recently, changes in the interpretation of overtime rules. Additionally, regulators have implemented or are considering adding more restrictive rules regarding air emissions, water management and scheduling.

Any one of these mandates requires investment of time and money by employers to effectively implement. Together, these regulations represent a challenge that puts Oregon companies at a disadvantage with less-regulated competitors in other states and strains profit margins.

It’s not that employers disagree with the intent of these rules. All businesses need stable, qualified workforces. One way to attract quality workers is to create a flexible workplace environment where workers feel valued and receive the compensation and benefits needed to support their families. Most employers try hard to do this. Recently developed software and mobile applications make it increasingly possible to meet workers’ need for flexible schedules, so long as employers have the ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances. 

Employers need time to digest all the recent policy changes before local, state and federal governments consider new ones. As state government has shown when trying to implement some of its own policies, mistakes happen when employers are forced to make too many changes in too short a period of time. And if businesses lose the flexibility to meet the needs of customers and workers, they eventually will have fewer of each. That hurts everyone.