I imagine my pessimism is driven in part by the deteriorating local situation. On March 7, I presented this chart to a meeting of the Oregon Education Association:
A quick forecast, based on monthly nonfarm payroll figures since 2000, indicated that the Oregon job loss for February would be -13,800. This was a relatively pessimistic forecast, especially compared to the official state forecast, but I thought it was justified given the strong spike in initial unemployment claims at the end of last year.
Today the official numbers were released- nonfarm payrolls in Oregon declined by 21,700. A number best described as virtually freefall. The unemployment rate now stands at 10.8%. Dismal.
For watchers of the local situation, this job report suggests that the state's revenue forecast for the 2007-2009 biennium remains in doubt, while downward revisions for the next biennium are likely. Worse, I am increasingly concerned that this recession will soon eat into the forecast for the 2011-2013 biennium. We are in for a rough ride.