Medford-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
101 E. 8th St.Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 779-4847
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COW CREEK BAND OF UMPQUA TRIBE OF INDIANS is the 2018 - 2019 Program Presenting Sponsor. Learn More
The Economy Outlook: Caution, Turbulence Ahead Guest Speaker: Dr. Christopher Thornberg, Founder, Beacon Economics
Access Dr. Thornberg's Presentation Here.   The economy has seen steady growth since the global commodity bust in 2014-2015, and the outlook is positive for 2018, according to Dr. Christopher Thornberg. He explained there is good momentum moving forward with a low chance of a recession in the next 24 months, and that economic trends are up in Oregon. However, brakes and imbalances put turbulence into the system, said Dr. Thornberg, who cited a shortage of labor and housing as examples. With a 4.3% job openings rate and an unemployment rate just over 3%, there are not enough workers to fill open positions, he said. “The lack of workforce growth is due to a demographic change; the best way to address that is to put more people into the labor force every time someone retires,” said Dr. Thornberg. In Oregon, Dr. Thornberg noted growth in several industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, health care and tourism. There has also been an excess of growth in the Oregon labor force because more people are moving here. However, he warned that Oregon needs to focus on the supply of housing keeping up with the demand and influx of newcomers to the state. Medford also has a positive economic outlook. “Medford grew slower than other areas, but now it’s growing on par with other places,” said Dr. Thornberg. He explained that good wages, the Medford airport and an overall impressive quality of life are assets which draw more people to Medford and Southern Oregon. While Medford is growing and the economic trends are positive, Dr. Thornberg cautioned that growth is a two-edged sword. “We need to work with growth, ask the right questions and get real data to inform future decisions,” he said.
2018 - 2019 Season Kick-Off

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OcTOBER: Workplace & Leadership
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
101 E. 8th St.  |  Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 779-4847