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FreeHEALTH CARE May. 26
Thousands of Oregonians likely to face sticker shock when they buy health insurance for 2023
After modest increases in 2021, Oregon health insurers are seeking an average 6.7% rate increase in the individual market, citing rising health care costs.
May. 24
Salem's unemployment rate falls in April to 3.7%
FreeSTATE GOVERNMENT May. 19
Oregon still collecting more tax revenue than economists anticipated
More money will go back to taxpayers in rebates, and legislators will have more to spend.
May. 18
Oregon's April unemployment rate inches down to 3.7%, state data shows
May. 17
Salem Chamber offering small grants to businesses impacted by pandemic
May. 13
Governor declares market disruption, allowing state regulators to investigate baby formula price gouging
FreeOREGON AGRICULTURE May. 11
Oregon adopting rules to protect workers from excessive heat and wildfire smoke
The rules are the most comprehensive in the nation and are welcomed by environmental groups and farmworker advocates.
SALEM BUSINESS May. 11
Salem’s plans for commercial air travel in coming year hinge on federal grant
Los Angeles and Las Vegas would likely be destinations for the budget airlines interested in flying out of Salem Municipal Airport, according to Salem city records. Fly Salem leaders expect an initial airline to set up shop in the next year.
SALEM ECONOMY May. 9
COLUMN: Health care, manufacturing jobs targeted in new workforce training plan
The job-training budget for the Willamette Workforce Partnership is doubling in the next few months, part of a statewide effort to train more workers for high-demand jobs requiring specialized skills.
SALEM FOOD May. 5
As prices climb, more Salem families seeking help at food pantries
Marion Polk Food Share leaders said visits rose in March, with about 13,000 local families getting food from the dozens of pantries in the region they supply. It's a rate they haven’t seen since late 2020, though it's too early to tell if it's a trend.
LOCAL BUSINESS May. 4
Nutrition company aims to improve food at disability group homes in Salem area
Sarah Short adapted the idea of meal subscription services like Blue Apron into a company targeted at group homes. Her clients are mostly in Salem, which has an especially high concentration of care homes for people with developmental disabilities.
May. 3
Pendleton Woolen Mills to open new Salem store Wednesday
FreeHEALTH CARE IN OREGON May. 2
Health care spending accounts for nearly one-quarter of household spending in Oregon, study says
Health insurance plans account for a big share of the costs the state hopes to control.
FreeOREGON UTILITIES Apr. 28
Citizens’ Utility Board opposes higher rates from state’s largest natural gas company
NW Natural says it needs to raise rates to invest in technology, safety and projects. The citizens’ board proposed cutting shareholder profits $2 million per year instead.
FreeHEALTH CARE Apr. 25
Oregon needs more financial aid for nursing students and more educators, experts say
Deans of nursing schools and nursing students discussed barriers they face with U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon.
FreeHEALTH CARE Apr. 21
Oregon medical providers rely on diminishing number of out-of-state nurses, study finds
Rural communities that are especially dependent on bringing in nurses are at risk of facing severe shortages, the research says.
FreeOREGON ECONOMY Apr. 20
Dozens of companies that defied Covid mandates are fighting nearly $1 million in fines
Over the past two years, Oregon workplace safety officials were deluged with complaints, and they cited an unprecedented number of violators.
Apr. 18
Salem-area businesses can get grants for hiring teens
Apr. 13
Salem's March unemployment rates lowest since pandemic began
FreeOREGON LABOR Apr. 7
Study says state failed farmworkers during Covid; OSHA denies findings
A report published Wednesday involving in-depth interviews with farmworkers around the state calls for stepped up support for these essential workers.
FreeOREGON GOVERNMENT Apr. 7
Thousands of low-income residents seeking state aid wait longer than they should
The state has failed to keep up with “unprecedented” demand by people seeking health insurance, food aid, case and child care assistance during the pandemic, though about half of applications are processed in a day.
FreeOREGON ECONOMY Apr. 6
Brown signs $200M ‘Future Ready Oregon’ workforce training plan
The plan targets jobs in health care, manufacturing and construction.
LOCAL COLUMN Apr. 6
COLUMN: Older Oregonians working more as cost of living outpaces Social Security
As the state faces a significant labor shortage, employers should know that Oregonians 55 and older are the only age group with increasing participation in the labor force.
SALEM AGRICULTURE Apr. 5
Salem-area farmers wary as forecasts call for dry growing season
The combination of intense drought and the heat dome in 2021 proved disastrous for many signature Willamette Valley crops. Growers are hopeful the summer heat was an anomaly, but berries, grass seed and Christmas trees remain vulnerable to a changing climate.
SALEM BUSINESS Mar. 31
Office rental space scarce in Salem, but that could shift as some state workers stay remote
State government leases more private office space in Salem than any other business. While government offices reopen to the public May 1, many of the 11,000 Salem-based state employees will likely shift to permanent remote or hybrid work.
OREGON ENERGY Mar. 23
Expect fewer fossil fuels, more demand for power in Oregon over next decade
Likely increases in electricity demand as electric vehicles become more widespread are among the planning challenges Oregon utilities face as they decarbonize, presenters told Salem City Club during a recent event.
Mar. 23
Salem area's January unemployment rate stayed flat, state data shows
FreeOREGON ECONOMY Mar. 23
Land use policy, cautious investments could help Oregon weather economic uncertainty
Uncertainty abounds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the global economy.
FreeECONOMY Mar. 18
Skyrocketing food prices are pinching budgets of Oregon individuals and agencies
Though the federal government has increased some subsidies, they’ve not been enough to keep up with the pace of inflation.
OREGON ECONOMY Mar. 17
COLUMN: Lower wages, higher barriers to entry among reasons fewer Oregon teens work
The share of Oregon teens and young adults working has declined over the past two decades, thanks to a mix of social and economic factors.
FreeOREGON NEWS Mar. 16
No suspension of state gas taxes for now in Oregon
While other states and federal authorities consider suspending gas tax collections, Gov. Kate Brown has no plan to do so.
FreeOREGON NEWS Mar. 14
State agencies in Oregon begin to grapple with hidden costs of high fuel prices
The Departments of Transportation, Fish and Wildlife, State Patrol could cut projects or seek emergency funding
FreeSTATE NEWS Mar. 11
Oregon’s $5 billion agriculture industry struggles amid high gas prices
Energy costs already are straining Oregon's agricultural producers, and some fear the war in Ukraine could make matters worse. The challenge comes after two tough pandemic years and amid a continuing drought.
FreeOREGON NEWS Mar. 8
Largest solar energy facility in Oregon gets final approval after legal battles
Lake Oswego-based Obsidian Renewables received a permit to build a solar energy facility in the high desert of Christmas Valley. It will be the largest in the Pacific Northwest.
Mar. 3
Pandemic back rent is due, but help’s available for Oregon tenants
SALEM ECONOMY Feb. 17
COLUMN: A diverse workforce mix helps Salem bounce back from recessions
The higher share of government workers in Salem relative to other Oregon cities has provided a stabilizing effect during recessions, as has the relative diversity of industry in the state's capital.
Feb. 14
Engleberg Antiks' new owners celebrate with Tuesday sale
SALEM HOUSING Feb. 10
High housing costs, low rental inventory are making Salem less affordable
Data presented at SVN Commercial Advisors' annual economic forum showed Salem was one of the most affordable housing markets a decade ago. Now, it’s ranked worse than Portland because it has a lower median income and rising home and apartment costs.
Feb. 9
Health insurance coverage in Oregon increases slightly during pandemic
FreeOREGON POLITICS Feb. 8
Push to pay overtime to Oregon’s farmworkers up against strong industry opposition
A legislative hearing is scheduled for Tuesday evening on a plan to phase in extra pay for the 86,000 farmworkers in Oregon.
Feb. 4
Proposed Oregon rules would protect outdoor workers from extreme heat, wildfire smoke
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Jan. 25
Salem, Grand Ronde seek delay as feds weigh moving Siletz casino forward
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is taking public comment on a Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians plan to establish a 20-acre casino in north Salem following an environmental assessment. The project still requires federal and state approval.
LOCAL COLUMN Jan. 18
COLUMN: Hospitality industry lags as Salem employment recovers to pre-pandemic levels
Pandemic layoffs in the spring of 2020 created an unusual recession disproportionately felt in service industries. The recovery, too, has been faster than typical.
COVID IN SALEM Jan. 13
Child care providers face temporary closures during Covid wave
Salem-area child care providers are having to close classrooms, shut down temporarily and some impose new restrictions as the latest Covid wave sickens providers and children.
TRAVEL Dec. 22
Salem’s economy in 2020 drew half of prior year’s travel revenue, industry report says
In its 2020-21 tourism industry report, the nonprofit Travel Salem said the local economy was hit hard by the pandemic, wildfires and the February ice storm, but they are optimistic that future data will reflect the heightened travel to the Salem area in 2021.
Dec. 21
Salem unemployment falls slightly in November with gains in transportation, hospitality
Dec. 16
SEDCOR celebrates local businesses in annual awards ceremony
FreeOREGON ECONOMY Dec. 16
Record employment posted in Oregon sectors, but recovery remains uneven
Some sectors of the state economy are recovering pandemic labor losses fast, reporting all time employment highs. Private health care, education continue to suffer.
LOCAL COLUMN Dec. 15
COLUMN: Salem has recovered jobs faster than Oregon, U.S.
The city's leisure and hospitality industry employment remains below pre-pandemic levels, but retail and trade jobs have more than recovered, and transportation and warehousing employment has grown significantly.
OREGON LABOR Dec. 14
Turner-based wine producer offers overtime pay to agricultural workers as most are excluded from state rules
Willamette Valley Vineyards is following the overtime pay regulations recently adopted by the state of Washington for agricultural employees who work 55 hours per week. Currently, Oregon has no such rule for agricultural workers.
FreeHEALTH CARE Dec. 10
Oregonians faced dozens of price increases for drugs last year
Drugs for cancer or other diseases that are difficult to treat accounted for many of the high-priced drugs introduced last year.
SALEM ECONOMY Dec. 9
City grant aims to help Salem child care providers stay in business
Small child care providers enter the field because they have a passion for the work, but often lack experience running a small business. A new program aims to address Salem’s child care shortage by funding free business management classes for child care providers at Chemeketa’s Small Business Development Center.
Dec. 2
Salem's October unemployment rate saw biggest decline in months, preliminary data shows
SALEM AGRICULTURE Dec. 2
Small farms near Salem find a steady customer: the local food bank
In recent years, Marion Polk Food Share has dedicated a growing portion of its food purchasing budget to local farms. Minto Island Growers co-owner Elizabeth Miller said it’s been a significant boost to their business, allowing them to plan for expansion.
OREGON LABOR Dec. 1
Salem nonprofit challenges farmworker exclusion from Oregon overtime rules
Two Oregon farmworkers and Mano a Mano Family Center have filed a petition with the Oregon Court of Appeals challenging state labor regulations which leave most agricultural workers out of overtime pay.
Dec. 1
Large employer vaccine mandate on pause in Oregon as federal lawsuits play out
Nov. 30
SAIF will require Covid vaccines for all employees, including remote workers
Nov. 24
Siletz tribe says proposed north Salem casino project will generate 2,300 construction jobs
Nov. 19
Oregon unemployment fell in October as private sector gains outpaced public sector losses
LOCAL COLUMN Nov. 16
COLUMN: Workforce training can help, but labor market challenges run deeper
Though Salem's unemployment rate has continued to decline, about 8,000 residents were still looking for work in September.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 14
Oregon will be flush in money to dramatically expand broadband – but that’s not happening soon
It will be more than a year before Oregonians benefit from $120 million in American Rescue Plan funds and $100 million from the just-passed infrastructure bill.
Nov. 12
Union representing homecare workers inks deal for raise, hazard pay with state
Nov. 4
Following federal announcement, Oregon has 30 days to issue vaccine mandate rules for private businesses
Nov. 4
Oregon jobs projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030
Nov. 3
Salem unemployment rate again dropped in September, preliminary data shows
Oct. 22
Grant funding available for organizations serving underrepresented businesses
LOCAL GOVERNMENT Oct. 21
Marion, Polk county homeowners see steady rise in property tax as values hit historic high
Most homeowners in Marion and Polk counties will see a consistent 3% increase in their property taxes this year. Meanwhile, property values across both counties are the highest they've ever been.
FreeCOVID IN SALEM Oct. 19
Salem’s biggest employers retained most staff after statewide Covid vaccine mandate took effect
The largest Salem-area employers covered under the governor’s Covid vaccine mandate say they don’t expect delays or loss of services as a result of the mandate, with most staff getting the vaccine or an exception by the Monday deadline.
FreeOREGON AGRICULTURE Oct. 18
2020 was a banner year for Oregon nurseries but the value of wine grapes plummeted
Cherry and hazelnut growers also enjoyed banner years but the smoke from fires hammered the wine industry.
FreeSALEM ECONOMY Oct. 14
As Roth’s Fresh Markets goes corporate, leaders say focus will remain on customer service
The Salem-based grocery chain announced the sale on Wednesday to a Canadian grocery company, ending decades of family ownership. Roth’s stores, which have served as a first workplace for generations of young Salemites, will retain their branding.
Oct. 13
Roth's Fresh Markets sells to Canadian food company
Oct. 12
Calculate your 2021 Oregon tax "kicker"
ECONOMY Oct. 7
COLUMN: Pandemic aid helped thousands of Salem residents out of poverty
The Salem area's declining unemployment rate will help keep people out of poverty, but much depends on the type of work and resources for parents.
FreeOREGON NEWS Oct. 6
New Oregon laws tackle affordable housing, rebuilding from fire
The Oregon Legislature passed several changes to Oregon laws that modify land use practices around the state. Land use experts see trend of state telling cities what to do.
EMPLOYMENT Sep. 28
One month after loss of unemployment benefits, impact on Salem jobs remains to be seen
The end of August meant thousands of Salem residents had Covid unemployment benefits cut off. It’s too early to see an impact on local jobs, but a state economist says the Salem area’s employment was among the quickest in the state to recover from Covid-related job losses.
Sep. 20
Oregon landlords can raise rent by up to 9.9% for 2022
Sep. 14
Oregon's unemployment rate falls below 5% for first time since pandemic began
Sep. 10
Oregon employers report more hard-to-fill jobs with few applicants
OREGON BUSINESS Sep. 10
AROUND OREGON: Dutch Bros sets date for IPO, poised to be Oregon's biggest
The southern Oregon company said it will donate 1% of the IPO’s proceeds to charity over the next 10 years.
GUEST COLUMN Sep. 9
COLUMN: As economy recovers, Salem is seeing inflation like the rest of the country
Inflation - the increase in what you pay for goods and services - has been going up as the economy recovers from the pandemic. There is uncertainty about what's ahead for consumers.
Sep. 8
Oregon workers’ compensation costs will again decline next year, state predicts
Aug. 25
Oregon's economic outlook strong despite ongoing pandemic, with expected $1.9 billion "kicker"
AROUND OREGON Aug. 19
AROUND OREGON: Oregon has paid out less than half of relief funds earmarked for landlords
As of Aug. 11, landlords had received $55.6 million from the state through the Landlord Compensation Fund to cover the missed rent of tenants.
Aug. 18
Marion County businesses can apply for grants to help cover Covid expenses
SALEM BUSINESS Aug. 17
Pandemic, work culture will be guiding priorities for new SAIF leader
Chip Terhune, an Oregon-raised executive with experience in politics and health care, is taking the reins of Salem-based worker's compensation company SAIF.
GUEST COLUMN Aug. 4
COLUMN: Those earning low wages in Salem suffered worst as pandemic layoffs hit
On the surface, the Salem economy is recovering from the hammering it took during the pandemic last year. But a closer read of government data shows that not everyone is on the same footing.
Aug. 3
Oregon employers must provide respirators for work in smoky air under new rules
SALEM RESTAURANTS Aug. 3
Sassy Onion expands to second Market Street location
After surviving Covid restrictions, the central Salem restaurant and catering company is expanding with a location closer to Interstate 5. Owner Kevin Boyles says a dinner menu could be in the works, but breakfast and lunch will be the focus.
Jul. 28
Eligible Oregon businesses will see break in unemployment insurance
Jul. 26
Marion County to help fund teen summer jobs with business grants
SALEM ECONOMY Jul. 26
Salem is eager to resume big events, but labor and supply challenges loom
Weekend calendars are filling at major venues. “A pretty disastrous chicken shortage.” Brides booking wedding planners weeks before the ceremony. Welcome to the wild world of event planning post-Covid restrictions.
Jul. 20
Salem hits historic employment level as economy recovers
Jul. 20
July 23 virtual meeting seeks feedback on post-Covid business recovery
Jul. 16
Willamette Valley wines gain protection against imposters
GUEST COLUMN Jul. 14
COLUMN: Employers around Salem likely to face continuing challenges filling jobs
As Salem and the country emerge from the pandemic, employers are ramping up to fill empty jobs. But changes in the labor force mean finding workers may not be as easy as it once was.
Jul. 13
Oregon unemployment rate falls slightly in June
STATE GOVERNMENT Jul. 8
Oregon Employment Department misses target for fixing phone wait times, blames worker shortage
Oregon was among the slowest states in the nation for paying unemployment benefits during the pandemic, hobbled by an obsolete computer system. Though wait times have improved, callers in June still spend an average of 34 minutes on hold.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Jul. 7
Southeast Salem businesses join together to boost local shopping
Business owners are banding together to tackle issues in their southeast Salem neighborhood. The group met recently to consider how to organize.
LIFE IN SALEM Jun. 30
Cautious optimism in Salem as Oregon lifts pandemic restrictions
Salem’s streets didn’t immediately fill with revelry Wednesday as Gov. Kate Brown ended rules mandating masks and limiting capacity at events and businesses. Masks and caution remained present for some, but many business owners breathed a maskless sigh of relief as things returned to (mostly) normal.
Jun. 30
Minimum wage workers in Salem and across Oregon to see pay raise