Like every state across the nation, Oregon suffered job losses when the nation-wide recession hit. In 2008 and 2009, Oregon faced large declines in employment. Midway through 2010, however, Oregon job losses began to stabilize and soon after, the job market began to grow.
By the end of 2010, Oregon ranked 12th in highest job growth in the nation, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. During 2011, the state continued to add jobs at a faster rate than the nation as an average. And, by year end, Oregon’s unemployment dropped below 9%.
Yet, though the Oregon job market has made great improvements, there are still unemployed Oregonians who would like to see further changes. And many more Oregonians who continue to fear for the state of their jobs -- including teachers, senior service providers, and health specialists, who see that their jobs may be on the chopping block.
Protect Good Jobs Now
Protecting the economy means protecting the jobs we have now. Potential budget cuts to education and critical state services will lead to higher unemployment.
According to a study by ECONorthwest, every 10 jobs in education support nine more jobs in the private sector. In half of Oregon’s communities, local schools are the largest employer.
Health care and senior services are also major providers of jobs, mostly in the private sector, but the budget crisis could lead to losses in those fields. For every $1 the state spends on Medicaid care for seniors, the federal government spends $2. For every $1 million we lose in federal Medicaid dollars, we’ll lose 36 jobs in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
We need to protect these existing jobs in order to bolster our economy for the future.