Over the last couple of years, Portland has led the state’s recovery.
But Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, says the latest figures show Bend, Medford, Corvallis, Eugene and the Coast with signs of economic improvement.
He says despite that, the recovery remains weak.
He explained, “Historically we normally see during an expansion year, somewhere about three or three and a half percent in private sector employment growth. We’ve been seeing two percent for the last two or three years. And in our outlook we have that accelerating just a little bit up to about two and a half percent growth. So sort of half way between this lack luster slow growth and maybe what you could consider more of a feel good expansion here in Oregon.”
Lehner says an improving housing market is helping increase employment in rural areas.
For example, newly issued permits for single family homes increased 26 percent nationally. Oregon has seen an increase of 39 percent.