COLUMN: The pandemic shut-down hit low-wage workers and minorities the hardest

A graph showing the percent change in the Salem area’s private sector employment from Februay 2020. (Source: Oregon Employment Department) The pandemic-related shutdown of the economy will go into the record books with a lot of “firsts” and we’ve just seen another one. The unemployment rate in the Salem area[Read More…]

COLUMN: Unemployment rate dips slightly, but low-wage workers continue to be hardest hit

A graph showing the percentage of total U.S. employment in goods producing and service producing industries from 1950 to 2018. (Courtesy/ Oregon Employment Department) The good news for Salem’s economy is that the unemployment rate has come down from 13.2 percent in April to 12.7 percent in May. The not-so-good[Read More…]

Salem’s economy takes a jolt as 1,000 jobs disappear with NORPAC collapse

A NORPAC-branded truck transports frozen vegetables in Oregon. (Courtesy/Oregon Department of Agriculture) The impending closure of a century-old food processing company will have wide impacts on Salem’s economy as nearly 1,000 workers seek new jobs over the holidays and Willamette Valley farmers scramble for a new buyer for next season’s[Read More…]