Handyman Jason Beals runs new computer cable at Cheers, a sports bar at 3404 Commercial St. S.E. in Salem as the business prepares on Thursday, May 14, 2020, to meet new requirements for video poker operations. Salem-area restaurants and bars remain on hold for providing sit-down service for at least another week. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Federal, state and private data show a mixed-bag for the Salem area economy. 

Fewer houses are on the market in Salem and Keizer and are selling for more money. Continuing claims for unemployment insurance have been on the rise in Marion and Polk counties. Average wages have increased (but because of job losses among low-wage workers). There are fewer help wanted ads online. 

However, Marion and Polk county residents are venturing out to play video poker, which could indicate pent-up demand. Salem residents keep starting businesses. 

Home sales (under a half acre) – Salem/Keizer

February 2021: 195

February 2020: 220

January 2021: 173

Median price:

February 2021: $355,000

February 2020: $312,250

Source: Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service

Continuing claims for unemployment

Continuing unemployment claims in Marion County. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)

Marion County 

January: 4,479

December: 3,909 

April 2020: 12,948 

January 2020: 2,268

Continuing unemployment claims in Polk County. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)

Polk County 

January: 960

December: 828

April 2020: 2,925

January: 502

Source: Oregon Employment Department

Salem area average hourly earning

January 2021: $24.17

December 2020: $24.14

January 2020: $22.65

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Salem help wanted ads online

A chart showing online ads in the Salem area. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)

February: 7,890

Number of new: 3,310

January: 8,640 

Number of new: 2,530


February: 80,400

Number of new: 34,300

January: 75,000

Number of new: 27,800

Source: The Conference Board via Oregon Employment Department

Video lottery sales

Marion County

January: $212,084 (lottery locations limited)

February:  $5.8 million

Polk County

January: $27,453 (lottery locations limited)

February: $606,615

Source: Oregon Lottery

Salem business registrations

February: 614

January: 582

February 2020: 538

Source: Oregon Secretary of State 

Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.

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