Measure 88 hurts Oregon’s unemployed

OregonLive.com
Measure 88 hurts Oregon’s unemployed

By docfnc OregonLive.com on October 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM, updated October 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM

By David Olen Cross

Supporters of driver’s cards like Gov. John Kitzhaber, all the Democrats in the Oregon State Legislature and some agribusiness-service-sector Republicans turned a blind eye to the state’s unemployed in 2013 when they passed and signed into law Senate Bill 833 — now awaiting a decision by the state’s voters re-titled Ballot Measure 88.

An evaluation of the seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, News Release from October 21, 2014 titled “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — September 2014” revealed the National unemployment rate at 5.9 percent — Oregon’s unemployment at 7.1 percent.

The State of Oregon Employment Department (DOE) report from October 20, 2104 indicated there were 119,815 unemployed in September in the state.

According to the “February 1, 2011 Pew Hispanic Center, Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends, 2010” there are an estimated 110,000 unauthorized workers in Oregon.

With so many unemployed Oregon citizens looking for jobs and 110 thousand unauthorized workers currently holding the jobs many citizens across the state would do, Gov. Kitzhaber and far too many members of the state legislature seeking reelection in 2014 seem oblivious to the plight of the unemployed U.S. citizens and legal residents in this state.

The majority of Oregon counties, 33 of 36 counties (91.7 percent), in September had a higher unemployment rate than the national average of 5.9 percent. Here are the numbers and percentages of unemployed by county:

1. Multnomah — 23,550 unemployed — 6.1 percent;
2. Washington — 15,979 unemployed — 5.7 percent;
3. Clackamas — 11,355 unemployed — 6.2 percent;
4. Lane — 10,726 unemployed — 6.9 percent;
5. Marion — 9,779 unemployed — 7.4 percent;
6. Jackson — 7,179 unemployed — 8.6 percent;
7. Deschutes — 5,194 unemployed — 7.9 percent;
8. Linn — 3,966 unemployed — 8.4 percent;
9. Douglas — 3,640 unemployed — 9.7 percent;
10. Josephine — 2,792 unemployed — 9.6 percent;
11. Yamhill — 2,748 unemployed — 6.5 percent;
12. Umatilla — 2,383 unemployed — 7.5 percent;
13. Klamath — 2,267 unemployed — 9.7 percent;
14. Polk — 2,191 unemployed — 6.5 percent;
15. Benton — 2,157 unemployed — 5.5 percent;
16. Coos — 2,094 unemployed — 8.8 percent;
17. Columbia — 1,702 unemployed — 7.7 percent;
18. Lincoln — 1,403 unemployed — 7.6 percent;
19. Clatsop — 1,003 unemployed — 6.0 percent;
20. Curry — 766 unemployed — 10.5 percent;
21. Malheur — 826 unemployed — 8.6 percent;
22. Crook — 728 unemployed — 10.1 percent;
23. Union — 728 unemployed — 7.4 percent;
24. Wasco — 733 unemployed — 6.3 percent;
25. Jefferson — 691 unemployed — 9.3 percent;
26. Tillamook — 677 unemployed — 6.4 percent;
27. Hood River — 657 unemployed — 5.2 percent;
28. Baker — 458 unemployed — 8.5 percent;
29. Morrow — 331 unemployed — 7.9 percent;
30. Lake — 268 unemployed — 9.3 percent;
31. Grant — 245 unemployed — 11.1 percent;
32. Harney — 243 unemployed — 10.2 percent;
33. Wallowa — 215 unemployed — 8.9 percent;
34. Gilliam — 51 unemployed — 6.2 percent;
35. Sherman — 50 unemployed — 6.4 percent;
36. Wheeler — 40 unemployed — 7 .1 percent.

Crook, Curry, Grant, and Harney counties experienced double-digit unemployment.

One of the common defenses by proponents of Ballot Measure 88, driver cards for the foreign nationals illegally in the state, is illegal immigrants need to be able drive to work.
A reality check for proponents of driver cards, foreign nationals illegally in the country cannot legally work in the state.

Another argument of proponents of Measure 88 is Oregon U.S. citizens will not work at the jobs illegal immigrants now occupy. This argument is at best a half-truth; Oregon U.S. citizens have historically been more than willing to work in construction, forestry, hotels, and restaurants.

Interesting facts can be derived from analyzing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDOA) unauthorized worker numbers and Pew Hispanic Center’s estimate of 110,000 unauthorized workers in the state.

Employment research done by USDOA estimates 48 percent of the 1.1 million farm workers in the country are unauthorized workers. Translating this percentage to PEW’s Oregon unauthorized worker number of 110,000 it is reasonable to estimate there are up to 52,880 unauthorized agricultural workers in the state.

Subtract the 52,880 unauthorized agricultural workers in the state from the overall number of 110,000 unauthorized workers in the state and one ends up with 57,200 unauthorized workers employed in non-agricultural jobs.

Oregon voter’s defeat of Ballot Measure 88 could literally help open up to 57,200 non-agricultural jobs to the state’s 119,815 unemployed, thus reducing the number of unemployed to 62,615; using the current DOE September numbers, the state could have a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of just 3.2 percent.

Translation of the preceding blur of numbers, if illegal immigrants can’t legally drive in Oregon, can’t get driver cards, don’t have a state issued identification, they will be pried out of those non-agricultural jobs they currently occupy thus opening up those jobs to the state’s legal U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Oregon voters should send a message of support to the state’s 119,815 unemployed U.S. citizens and legal residents when they cast their ballots on or before Tuesday, November 4th by voting “No on Ballot Measure 88.”

David Olen Cross of Salem writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime (docfnc@yahoo.com)
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http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2014/10/measure_88_hurts_oregons_unemp.html

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