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Oregon Lost Lower Paying Jobs, Added Higher Paying Ones

In this May 7, 2020 file photo, a pedestrian walks by The Framing Gallery, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Lower paid jobs dried up, while higher paid ones grew. That’s what an expert found was the result of the pandemic in Oregon.

The report from state economist Josh Lehner shows the split.  About a tenth of Oregon jobs paying less than $35,000 dollars a year disappeared in the early weeks of the pandemic. If you worked in a restaurant, hotel or gym, you were more likely to lose your job.

But if you could work from home, in the fields of science, business or finance, you could keep working, and even see more opportunities. During that same time perior, Oregon added jobs that pay more than $64,000 dollars a year.

The office of Economic Analysis expert found a surprise: “Since the start of COVID, the underlying economy has been much more resilient, much stronger than we anticipated. We were very fearful of a really deep recession that would have lasting scars.”

He says federal spending has worked to save businesses and jobs: and even boost pay during the crisis. “Incomes are up due to that federal aid. And so, once things reopen as long as the pandemic continues to improve, we’re expecting some really strong consumer spending numbers and job numbers in the second half of this year.”

He says as more people get vaccinated and stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen, he expects those frontline jobs to come back faster.

 

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