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PORTLAND-Western states were well represented in a ranking of overall job and income gains by state, but Oregon is bringing up the rear. Nearly all states in the nation experienced year-over-year income and job gains in 2000, and while California, Nevada, and Idaho are in the top 10 and Washington is keeping pace with the national average, Oregon is lagging behind.

Going into 2001, growth rates in the Western Region states will ease, “but the excitement will continue,” according to US Bank’s in-depth economic forecast and review by John Mitchell, economist for the bank’s Western Region. He is the author of Territory 2001, the report that analyzes employment, personal income, and overall economic performance in each of the region’s six states.

Mitchell says Oregon’s industry mix is well suited to a world that will be characterized by investment strength in order to incorporate the new technology into business and households. Here are a few of his reflections and predictions for the state:

* Oregon’s slowing expansion was evident in the residential real estate sector where building permits moved sharply lower than those reported in 1999.

* Electrical equipment jobs have moved to new highs, and employment in communications, distribution and business services are engines of Oregon’s expansion.

* In 2001, Oregon is expected to again see employment growth of about 1.4% with a personal income increase of 5%.

His predictions for the other Western states: Washington should see job growth of 1.7% and personal income growth of 5.5%; California’s employment growth in 2001 will be 2.5% with personal income rising 6.5%; Idaho’s employment growth will be 2.5%; Nevada’s job growth is expected to fall another half a percent in 2001 to 4%; and Utah will see employment gains near 2.4% with personal income growth about 5.5% in 2001.

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