• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Oregonians have increasingly gloomy view of the economy


Mar 19, 2023

The pandemic continues to recede, but Oregonians appear to be feeling worse and worse.

Practically two-thirds of respondents to a new poll from DHM Investigation say they’re worried about their personal finances. That is on par with the gloomiest numbers in the pandemic’s early days.

Sixty % say Oregon’s financial circumstances are poor, a sharp raise from final summer time when just about half rated the economy poorly.

What’s got Oregonians feeling so rotten?

Inflation is the chief suspect. Even although price tag increases have cooled significantly from final summer time, inflation is nonetheless operating about six% annually – almost triple the pre-pandemic price.

Increasing rents, grocery costs and utility bills are wiping out a great deal of what Oregonians saved in the course of 2020 and 2021, when persons have been going out much less and when federal stimulus checks have been beefing up bank accounts. That indicates far more persons are living close to the edge.

Unemployment is climbing, as well. When nonetheless low by historical requirements at four.eight%, Oregon’s jobless price has been increasing steadily for almost a year.

Following notching quite handful of layoffs in 2021 and 2022, the state has recorded a speedy string of job cuts this winter across a broad spectrum of Oregon industries from technologies to manufacturing to retail. Intel, Gunderson, Walmart and Blount Fine Foods are amongst these handing out pink skips.

Half of Oregonians say the economy is having worse, compared to 19% who felt that way in 2019.

Nonetheless, there are indicators that the economy could be superior than it feels.

Oregon added 71,000 jobs final year, the second-quickest development considering the fact that 1990. Statewide employment is currently above its pre-pandemic peak.

Oregon private-sector wages rose by eight% final year, according to state information, and the national inflation price fell to about six% final month. State economists, who had been forecasting a mild recession, now say a soft landing is far more most likely.

The financial recovery remains exceedingly delicate, although, as this month’s bank failures illustrated. Increasing interest prices, the war in Ukraine, tensions with China or a default on federal debt could shock the economy and send it spiraling downward.

The most up-to-date poll numbers show Oregonians are choosing up on that fragility and feeling it in their personal pocketbooks.

This is Oregon Insight, The Oregonian’s weekly appear at the numbers behind the state’s economy. View previous installments right here.

— Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com |

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