Office of Economic Analysis ReBlog: Oregon government size, an update

Yes, the public sector here in Oregon continues to grow. We have never had more public employees or more tax revenue than we do today. However the regional economy and the number of total Oregonians has never been larger either. Once you make the adjustment of comparing the public sector to the size of the population, or tax revenues as a share of personal income, Oregon’s public sector hasn’t increased in size for decades. And make no mistake, adjustments like these are the correct way to examine the size of government over time. Reasonable people, and unreasonable ones too I suppose, can debate the proper role and scope of the public sector. However a larger population means there are more residents in need of services, from schools to roads to law enforcement and so forth. And a stronger economy generating jobs and income does translate into more tax dollars for the public sector.

Josh Lehner explores the size and presence of public sector employment in Oregon over the past several decades, and points out some trends that illuminate issues with public education employment and tax revenue. Read more here.

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Office of Economic Analysis ReBlog: Oregon, Diversity and the Middle East

All told, my classification of Arab or Middle Eastern ancestry shows that 2.8 million U.S. residents, or just over 1 percent identifies as such. Here in Oregon the figures are 27,000 and 0.8 percent. To help put those figures in perspective here in Oregon, that’s roughly equivalent to a city the size of Redmond or Tualatin, or slightly larger than Union or Wasco counties.

Oregon isn’t known for being a particularly diverse state. According to the Office of Economic Analysis, despite an uptick in domestic migration, when it comes to inbound migration from other parts of the world, Oregon still lags behind many other states. However, Oregon’s overall diversity is increasing at a faster rate than some other states (due perhaps in part to our relatively small and relatively homogenous population- we have more room for growth and change, and that growth and change may be more apparent).

The Office of Economic Analysis looks into the numbers behind some of these demographic trends in this post.

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Office of Economic Analysis ReBlog: The Elephant Graph

A few months ago former World Bank lead economist, Branko Milanovic, released a new book titled Global Inequality. His work has taken the economics profession by storm since. One chart in particular, dubbed by some as the elephant graph, because, well, it looks like an elephant, tells a fascinating story.

While cumulative real income has grown for many people across the globe in recent years, that growth is uneven and affects different sections of the population in different ways. The data shown may reflect on stagnant wage growth in Oregon and across the U.S. as well.

Read more about the Elephant graph here, or visit the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Homepage here.

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Reblog: Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast, Dec 2015

“Oregon’s economy continues to make significant gains. Job growth has slowed just a bit from early 2015 rates, yet remains more than strong enough to bring the unemployment rate down and account for the influx of new workers as population growth picks up.”

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its latest quarterly forecast. As positive as the overall picture is right now, there are a few dark spots, including a persistent disparity between urban and rural economic health.

Interested in knowing more? Read the full forecast here.

Source: Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast, Dec 2015

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Material Deprivation, Poverty, Child Care and Inflation

Does the relative lack of material deprivation among impoverished Americans mean they have an easy life? Not necessarily. Many of the poorest Americans have indoor plumbing, cars, and cellphones, and yet still struggle to meet their basic needs.

Read more at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis weblog about evolving poverty measurements, census data tracking, and our accelerating relationship with technology.

Source: Material Deprivation, Poverty, Child Care and Inflation

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