Friday, January 23, 2009

Oregon Unemployment Rate

According to OPB, the jobless rate here climbed to nine percent in December, the highest it’s been since 1985. We've been losing about 9,000 jobs every month since last August. Many, but not all, have been linked to the timber industry.

The Portland Business Journal reports that OHSU is also feeling the pain:

Oregon Health & Science University will eliminate between 500 and 1000 positions in the next four to six months as it wrestles with a $30 million and $35 million gap in funding.OHSU President Joe Robertson released a detailed financial plan to cut up to 8 percent of the institution’s 12,400 employees on Thursday.

The budget crisis is driven by the economic downturn and 80 percent fewer new patients than expected. OHSU Hospital anticipated 5 percent growth in the current year, but so far patient volumes have increased by just 1 percent.
OHSU further attributed its financial crisis to a rise in growing demand for uncompensated care, lower state funding and an economic climate in which research grants have fallen. It's also had significant investment losses.

The university ended 2008 with $345 million in its endowment, down 25.5 percent from its $461.4 million balance at the end of 2007. OHSU noted it outperformed the S&P 500, which dropped 37 percent over the same period.

OHSU previously froze hiring and salaries, reduced pension plan contributions, postponed capital plans and began reducing staff. Senior executives, including Robertson, took pay cuts and are forgoing incentive pay.

It's getting grim here, folks.

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