The Oregon Capitol building in Salem. Photo: Chas Hundley

SALEM - The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its forecast for December 2019, and it also provided an overall outlook for the short term.

The report shows the state’s economy remains strong with many workers in urban areas enjoying an 18 percent increase in median household income, which is above the U.S. average.

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It’s the first time since at least 1969 that Oregon’s median household income rate has been higher than the national average, the forecast says. 

“Oregon continues to see healthy rates of growth when it comes to employment, income, and (gross domestic product) GDP,” the forecast states. “However, the state is no longer significantly outpacing  the nation like it was a couple of years ago. While the big picture remains the same, recent Oregon data is somewhat of a mixed bag.”

Oregon in 2019 is adding about 2,000 jobs each month, and the rate at which jobs need to be added to keep unemployment steady is 1,900 jobs per month. 

Reasons for the slowdown in job creation include the impact President Donald Trump’s trade war is having on farming and durable goods manufacturing, such as semiconductors and wood products -- two of Oregon’s largest trade markets. 

Professional and business services also are seeing slowdowns in employment growth, and the forecast says that’s likely due to an inability to find workers -- data points to fewer net hires than layoffs. 

Likewise, the construction and transportation and warehouse sectors also are seeing slowdowns in hiring due to worker shortages, a spike in retirements, and fewer people are moving to Oregon since the Great Recession. 

The entire forecast, including an executive summary and a slideshow presentation, can be viewed online here