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Jun-15-2010 12:35printcomments

Oregon Jobs Data Show Why Recovery Act Extensions Are Needed

Statement by OCPP Policy Analyst Joy Margheim.

(SILVERTON, Ore.) - Today's state unemployment data confirm why it's so important for Congress to move quickly to extend Recovery Act provisions that bolster the economy and cash-strapped states.

Oregon's unemployment rate has stayed essentially flat for the past 7 months, averaging 10.6 percent over that period, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Oregon finally saw some job growth in April, but not in May. Meanwhile, both the labor force and population have been growing modestly, offsetting the job gains. The weak labor market is unlikely to improve anytime soon, as experts predict tepid job growth the rest of this year.

Continued labor market weakness shows that it's essential for Congress to continue the unemployment insurance provisions in the Recovery Act. By extending benefits through late 2010, Congress can not only offer some certainty to families suffering through long-term unemployment but also continue injecting significant funds into Oregon's economy.

Earlier this year, the Oregon Center for Public Policy found that extended unemployment benefits and a $25 additional weekly benefit amount together pumped about $767 million into the state from February 2009 to January 2010. Those federal dollars have helped stabilize Oregon's economy. Withdrawing that stimulus while Oregon's labor market remains weak would undermine our recovery.

In the same vein, it's vital that Congress continue providing cash-strapped states extra Medicaid funding, which flows through to the private sector health care industry. Like most states, Oregon faces a significant revenue shortfall, and without federal assistance, deep service cuts loom in the public and private sectors that rely on government funding.

Laying off teachers, public safety officers and public and private health providers certainly won't help Oregon or the nation's unemployment woes. It's also no recipe for a sustained economic recovery. Congress can prevent cuts in human services programs by extending enhanced Medicaid funding.

Source: Oregon Center for Public Policy

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Henry Clay Ruark June 16, 2010 9:40 am (Pacific time)

"Anon" & Tim:
  Major conclusions in story are those of OCPP - built as reaction to state press release.

  What OCPP states is proven accurate, meaningful, comprehensive and reliable coverage.

  Cannot say/same re 'Anon" --and my mom taught me to be very wary of unknown men with large/words, no ID, and some even masked...
  Communication research has long proven ANY "anon" has reason for that status --if you cannot sign it better not state it.
  Per ALL communications, the source is key to credibility or lack thereof...that's why Tim requires full ID and squib re every writer for S-N.
  SO give "anon" precisely what's deserved: NO attention nor credibility until ID and qualifications to comment are thus established, on request, hereby made for this one.

Pat Kittleson June 16, 2010 3:12 pm (Pacific time)

It appears the senate has failed to extend benefits as per a recent vote. Maybe it's time to reverse current stimulus policies that have clearly failed to work and start using the model that was highly successful back in the 1980's. Employers will not hire and consumers will watch their spending until they can predict down the line what their expenses will be. Lowering taxes has always worked before and has had a positive net effect on increasing tax revenue.

Anonymous June 15, 2010 3:56 pm (Pacific time)

just a misunderstanding Tim. What you said is correct, I just did not want people to think i got my info from some alternative gloom and doom website.. The thing is, the state of Oregon press releases do not seem to read their own websites. Or really give the full info.
I did not mean anything negative in regards to salem-news. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Tim King: Hey, thanks and no problem!

Anonymous June 15, 2010 1:08 pm (Pacific time)

I have been documenting this stuff since January..been meaning to send it to Tim King, but it is not organized enough to formally send it. I'll try to get to it this week. I was waiting for today's update. I get all my info from the Oregon government, not an alternative news website.
It is much worse than most think. Sorry.
In the last two months, the government has hired 8,000 people for temporary jobs, which will go away in a couple of months. Local government lost 800 jobs. Wholesale was hiring, but it was my feeling that it was because they believed the "recovery" hype and loaded up the shelves. But i said from the beginning, watch "retail" not MSM or the government. And I was correct. Retail is laying off, and now 'wholesale" is seeing what I have been trying to tell them, and they are laying off also. I wont even get into the unemployment rate. It is a complete is much higher than they say. (sorry for the gloom and doom, i dont like it either)
here is a link for starters, it does take a few hours to go thru the entire website, but its a start. I will try to get Tim my info soon. oregon will have to start borrowing money from the feds for unemployment benefits by end of year.

Tim King: OK, but I didn't follow your point about alternative Websites.  This is a state of Oregon press release, as indicated, for the record, thanks.

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