November 2014 State of Oregon Economic Indicators

The November 2014 State of Oregon Economic Indicators is now available here.  Special thanks to KeyBank for their generous support of this project.


Oregon’s economy improved further in November. Highlights of the report include:

  • Strong contributions from employment components drove the Oregon Measure of Economic Activity sharply higher in November. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, rose to 0.60, where “zero” for this measure indicates average growth over the 1990-present period. All four major sectors contributed positively to the overall measure.
  • The household sector gained on strong performances from initial unemployment claims, the labor force, and gains in the stock market and consumer confidence. Employment improved broadly within the services sector, with a particularly solid contribution from the trade, transportations and utilities component.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators gained 0.3% in November. In general, the UO Index has tracked sideways in recent months; this is typical behavior during a more mature expansion.
  • The level of initial unemployment claims fell to a record low (since 1993), indicative of strong economic activity underpinning employment. Employment services payrolls retreated from a large gain the previous month, but the general uptrend remains intact.
  • Residential building permits (smoothed) and the Oregon weight distance tax (a measure of trucking activity) were largely unchanged while consumer confidence rose. Average hours worked in manufacturing continues to hover around 40, consistent with normal levels for economic expansions. New orders for core manufactured capital goods (an often volatile measure) were unchanged.

The two indicators suggest continued growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity. Further gains are likely as the national economy will continue its general upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.