In Which I Over-Use the Ellipsis and You Hear More Bad News About the Economy

It ain't pretty.

Oregon's economy has not hit bottom yet. I recently saw Tom Potiowsky, Oregon State Economist speak at Portland State. As promised, here's what I gleaned:

For once, the income tax is a more stable source of revenue than a sales tax would be. Generally, income fluctuates more than consumption. Due to what Potiowsky called the "bunker mentality" of consumers, consumption has gone way down. So, Oregon's doing better than sales-tax dependent states like Washington and California, both in serious budget crises right now. That's the good news (for Oregon, in a schadenfreude kind of way). The bad news is: the worst is yet to come for Oregon, since income tax revenues will certainly decline as...

...unemployment worsens. We've got around a 9% unemployment rate right now; it was 5.5% in June 2008. Two-thirds of 2008's job loss was in the fourth quarter. And, the bleeding continues. Potiowsky predicts Oregon's unemployment rate could hit 11% in mid-2010, after which point...

...the "feel-good turn-around" starts to happen. Potiowsky predicts the "technical turn-around" will be in the second or third quarter of this year. (When Paul Krugman was in town recently, he took a more pessimistic view.) It's a long time to the "feel-good." In the words of the Carpenters, "We've only just begun...."

...Tune in next time for the thrilling saga of the business sectors and geographies of the state that have already fallen to the mighty wrath of Recessionzilla, and those that are next on its stale-breathed and sinister agenda.