The truth about Oregon jobs

An analysis shows the “Go Oregon” package didn’t create or retain as many jobs as claimed.

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State officials proudly state that 7,500 jobs were created or retained by the 2009 Legislature’s “Go Oregon” package.

Yet an analysis by The Oregonian attempts to find out how the state package (of which $93 million has been spent so far) could have outperformed the larger federal program (which has seen $1.3 billion spent).

An analysis by The Oregonian shows that, on average, Go Oregon jobs lasted about two weeks and did little or nothing to dent the state’s bleak employment outlook. It also shows the state counted anyone working on a stimulus-related project as a job, regardless of whether the worker was already employed and in no danger of being laid off.

Furthermore, one in four workers employed in Go Oregon jobs was not a resident of the state. The analysis also shows a disproportionately high amount of the stimulus money was spent in Marion and Polk counties — two areas of the state favored by Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, who championed the measure.

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