Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oregon Income Trending Like Idaho Rather than Washington

The glitter is dimming. Oregon is slipping economically.

Oregon has moved solidly into the lower quadrant in personal income with almost 2/3rds of the states ranking higher. The Portland Tribune points out that Oregon is becoming more like its poorer neighbor Idaho than wealthier Washington.

Oregon's per capita income is 90% of the national average--down from 97% in 2000.

Among the 50 states in per capita income (constant dollars):
  • Oregon was #25 ($28,099) in 2000 and #31 ($29,570) in 2008
  • Washington was #11 ($31,780) in 2000 and #14 ($34,833) in 2008
  • Idaho was #42 ($24,079) in 2000 and #43 ($26,426) in 2008
Unfortunately, things are not looking up.
"[John Tapogna, president of ECONorthwest] cited two worrisome statistics that signal future pressure on government services. The number of baby boomers turning 65 this decade will grow 50 percent, he said, increasing demand for health care and taking the most educated sector out of the work force. And 25 percent of preschoolers in Oregon are Hispanic – a group not particularly well served in our schools – Tapogna said."
. . .
"'We have a tendency to attract college-educated workers but maybe not the most productive ones,' [University of Oregon economics professor Tim] Duy said.

"Half joking, he said Seattle and San Francisco are attracting college grads who want to work 60 hours a week, while their peers coming to Portland want to work 30 hours a week."
Tapogna points out that unless there is a turnaround of increase in income, Oregon will need to look to Idaho's model of providing public services rather than what it's used to.
"Tapogna said public spending has consistently equaled about 16 percent of Oregonians’ personal incomes, so if incomes are stagnant or falling, so will public spending. The two biggest and most powerful public employee unions, Oregon Education Association and Service Employees International Union, 'should be as excited about personal income growth as this group is,' Tapogna said, referring to his business audience.

"Otherwise, they should look at how Idaho provides public services, he said, 'because that’s the other model.'"

No comments: