ECONorthwest Findings Show Strong Job Growth and Economic Expansion in the Northwest


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Strategic Link partner, ECONorthwest, has released a new economic indicator report that examines the Northwest’s job growth. From 2011 to 2018, jobs in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington showed consistent growth during the eight-year period, according to ECONorthwest’s findings. The economic consulting firm will continue to release studies quarterly that focus on the Northwest.

As a Strategic Link partner, ECONorthwest provides quarterly reports that give a unique view of the economic conditions on Main Street, and identifies potential changes that can impact Northwest credit unions. Discussion of the current economic expansion and the risk of recession have been in the news recently with talks of an inverted yield curve and its importance as a predictor of future recessions. The Pacific Northwest Employment Growth chart tracks job growth at the state level (year over year) compared to the U.S. average. The Northwest has outperformed the U.S. economy as a whole during this period of expansion.

For the past three years, Idaho has been the fastest growing state in the region, growing at least 1.4 percent faster than the U.S. average. From February 2017 to 2018, Idaho had the fourth highest percentage state job growth, Washington was ninth, and Oregon was 16th.

Early in the cycle, Oregon was the top-performing state, but has since showed signs of slowing job growth. In 2018, Oregon still outpaced the U.S. by 0.1 percent, but was the slowest growing of the three states in the region.

While job growth is slowing in parts of the region, jobs are still being added. If this expansion continues through July of this year, it will be the longest on record. Jobs growth and economic expansion are linked, so if we are still adding jobs, the inversion of the yield curve is less of a short-run concern (unless it persists).

To learn more about ECONorthwest, please contact Northwest Credit Union Association Strategic Partnerships Manager, Kaitlin Ramos. To learn about Strategic Link’s partnership with ECONorthwest, visit its webpage.

Editor’s note: Look for future quarterly ECONorthwest economic studies in upcoming editions of Anthem.

Posted in Economy.