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Oregon’s economic ranking nearly unchanged over the past decade, report says

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(The Center Square) – The Common Sense Institute of Oregon recently released its 2023 Economic Performance Index for the state.

The report found that Oregon ranks about middle-of-the-pack when it comes to relative economic performance and that this has been stable for over a decade. The report ranked Oregon 27th nationally in this category, down one spot from its 26th ranking in 2011.

CSI uses seven different factors to calculate a state’s relative economic performance. These include: GDP per capita, labor force participation rate for people aged 18 to 64 years, net business creation, inequality as measured by the Gini Index, the percentage of people of all ages in poverty, the median household, and net interstate migration.

Oregon ranked well in some categories but not so well in others.

For example, the state’s labor force participation rate, 81.2%, ranked eighth out of the 50 states. Its $81,855 annual median household income also ranked well. It put Oregon 10th among the 50 states. Plus, Oregon had seen wage growth. Median household income in the state increased by 58.9% from 2011 to 2023, outpacing the 46.1% inflation the country endured over those years.

Those were two categories where Oregon ranked well. However, it ranked poorly in net interstate migration; 29,370 more people left Oregon than came to the state in 2023. It ranked 44th in net interstate migration as a result.

In many other categories, the state was around the national average. That includes inequality (23rd), GDP per capita (23rd), its 12.2% poverty rate (28th), and its net business creation rate of 62.2 per 100,000 residents (27th),

CSI thinks there isn’t a subset of government policies that could take Oregon to the top of the state economic rankings in the near future.

“Oregon’s economy differs from the nation as a whole in ways that possibly make it difficult for it to be among the top state economies,” the report said. “For instance, Oregon’s agricultural sector is a larger share of its economy than many states, and this sector tends to be among the lowest for income derived from salaries and wages. Similarly, Oregon’s professional-scientific-technical and information sectors are a smaller share of the economy than many states, and these sectors tend to be among the highest for income derived from salaries and wages.”

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