Saturday, June 28, 2008

Employment Stagnates, Recession Looms

From the Oregonian:

It's bad, economists agree. But just how bad?
Wells Fargo's Ed Kashmarek is the latest to weigh in on Oregon's outlook, issuing a report Friday forecasting a modest downturn in the Portland area. While job losses are likely to rise, pulling down personal income and spending, Kashmarek suggested that Portland's economy will continue to fare better than the nation's.
"There is not a sense of despair or fear of a deep recession in the Portland area, but rather guarded optimism is the prevailing feeling," he wrote.

Kashmarek, who works in Minneapolis, predicted Oregon's job growth will slow to 0.8 percent this year, with a jobless rate of about 5.5 percent. But he said the economic troubles appear contained to particular sectors, at least for the time being, because housing prices and job growth are holding up OK relative to the nation as a whole.
"Clients in the Portland area are hearing a lot of negative news in the media," Kashmarek wrote, "but most aren't seeing a significant weakening in their businesses." Less sanguine is University of Oregon economics professor Tim Duy, who will issue his monthly Oregon Economic Indicators Index next week. The last index, pointed to a mild recession -- or worse.
"There's a huge debate about whether Portland in specific and Oregon in general are just going to slide through this on a basis of: This is a nice place to live," Duy said.
To his way of thinking, it's only a matter of time until the sharp declines in housing prices that have hit other parts of the country hit here and take a corresponding toll.
"Things could turn here fairly quickly," Duy said, "and seem to be turning in a direction that's not to anyone's liking."

So all the people who move here can't find work yet can they will be able to buy our homes and support the current market prices.