|Coalition for a Working Oregon (CWO)|
The Coalition for a Working Oregon (CWO) is the first consolidated effort by Oregon employers to create support for a measured and sensible approach to comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. Oregon employers realize that they must provide a unified voice of engagement, leadership and balance on this important issue, which is why the CWO was formed.
Oregon employers speak with one voice
CWO was established in August of 2007 with the goal of advocating for comprehensive, thoughtful immigration reform at the federal level. Made up of 20 Oregon employer associations representing more than 300,000 Oregon workers, CWO is committed to ensuring that Oregon has access to a stable, legal immigrant workforce. Particularly in these difficult economic times, sensible reform is needed to ensure that Oregon's key industries have access to a stable supply of workers.
Economics of the issue
In July, CWO commissioned William K. Jaeger, Ph.D, a professor with Oregon State University, to put together a report outlining the economic importance of Oregon's undocumented workers and the economic ramifications of eliminating this workforce from the Oregon economy. Among other things, the study found:
In the short-term, the loss of undocumented workers will result in the following:
- An immediate loss of 173,500 jobs, or 7.7% of Oregon's workforce
- 76,000 legal, documented Oregon workers would lose their jobs
- Total statewide output would be reduced by over 6%, or $17.7 billion
- Local business owners could see income reduced by 8.5%
- Statewide value added costs (e.g. employee compensation, proprietor income, indirect business tax, etc.) will be up to $8.7 billion
In the following months and years, when prices, markets and investment decisions have had time to adjust, Oregon will still be dealing with significant long-term economic ramifications:
- Long run employment numbers are estimated to be as much as 6.5% (approximately 148,000) below what they would have been
- The economy could still see a reduction in state output of up to $14.7 billion
- Local business owners could see income reduced by 7.4%
- Statewide value added costs will be up to $7.2 billion
Additionally, the departure of Oregon's undocumented workers will not lower the unemployment rate and Oregon stands to lose more than $650 million in state and local tax revenues
Immigrant labor contributes enormous value to our economy and is inexorably linked to key industries that serve as a bedrock for growth in our state. We need a sensible, comprehensive solution to immigration reform on the federal level to ensure that Oregon's industries remain healthy and the economy stays strong.