May 2020 Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators

This is the University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for May 2020. The release date July 6, 2020. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank

Link to full report (with charts!) here.

The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity rebounded from -14.7 in April to 0.07 in May while the moving average measure, which smooths out the volatility, edged down further -5.23 and indicates below average growth for the Oregon economy. Highlights of the report include: Continue Reading

April 2020 Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators

This is the University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for April 2020. The release date June 8, 2020. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank

Link to full report (with charts!) here.

This is what a “sudden stop” looks like in the data. The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity plummeted to -14.7 in April while the moving average measure, which smooths out the volatility, fell to -5.13; both measures indicate below average growth for the Oregon economy. Highlights of the report:

  • No major sector made a positive contribution to the measure. Widespread and deep layoffs throughout the economy impacted the services sector particularly severely. Many of those layoffs will be temporary; employees are already returning to work with much of the state in the initial stages of reopening.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators fell 3.9%, extending the steep decline of the previous month. The details are interesting.
  • Factors driving the decline were as might be expect, with initial unemployment claims, employment services (temporary help) payrolls, hours working in manufacturing, core capital goods orders, and consumer sentiment all driving the index down.
  • The Oregon weight-distance tax collected and Oregon home building permits, however, remain resilient; these indicators typically decline in a recession.
  • We should carefully watch what happens in the housing markets in the coming months. Housing tends to be a leading indicator and if it remains a strong sector we would expect the recession to be fairly short-lived.

Economic activity came to a sudden stop in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. We should expect a sharp short-term bounce in the data in the coming months as the economy reopens. Longer-term, however, the recovery to the past peak of activity will be slow and choppy as the economy adapts to the virus.

Media Contacts:
Tim Duy – 541.346.4660 (w)

April Local Employment Numbers Reveal Steep Declines

This afternoon I noticed the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of employment at the local level are available for April of this year on the St. Louis Federal Reserve publicly available data repository. These appear to be the BLS estimates as the Oregon versions are not available at this time on the State of Oregon  Employment Department website.

As might be expected, all regions experienced steep employment declines; total payrolls were down in the range of 12%-15% compared to April of last year. The  leisure and hospitality industries were particularly hard hit.

While all regions gave up years of job gains, the Eugene-Springfield region was particularly hard hit. According to the posted data, April employment in Eugene-Springfield was 139,000; at the lowest point after the last recession, September  2010, employment was 140,100. In other words, the region gave up nearly 10 years of job grown this past April.

With the state moving into the initial phase of reopening and ending the most strict lockdowns, employment declines will slow and will then stabilize; in some sectors (such as elective medical care, for instance) jobs might rebound fairly quickly. Other sectors, however, will continue to be impacted by social distancing restrictions, especially leisure and hospitality, and be fairly slow to recover. Overall, the recovery to pre-coronavirus employment levels will likely be fairly slow as the economy adapts to the virus.

March 2020 Oregon Regional Economic Indicators

Good afternoon. Below is the University of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes for March 2020. The release date is May 21, 2020. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

Oregon Regional Economic Indicators:

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and related business closures began appearing in the regional economic data in March.

Download the full report here!

Highlights of this month’s report include:

Continue Reading