A Tip of the Toque to ZZMike in the Comments over at Oregon Guy:
Even the folks at the Wall Street Journal are noticing how bad things are here in lil' ol' Oregon. Now those of you who aren't local can see why the job hunt has been so challenging for me. Unemployment almost as high as Michigan, taxes higher than anywhere but New York City? I'm not sure how much longer we can keep this up. Right now TFR's income is keeping our heads above water, but since she works in a "luxury" service industry, on commission, she's been seeing smaller paychecks, and we're starting to have to make decisions about what we can afford to keep doing or not. Unless things get better soon, we don't know if we can even afford to stay.
But where can we go? My family live in... wait for it... Michigan. And eleven years in San Diego taught me something important: I can't live somewhere that makes me miserable, no matter how much I make. Maybe for a year or two, but not for much longer. Oregon is the only place I've ever felt was "Home", and the things that define it regionally are the very properties that make it feel that way -- the forests and mountains, the pace of life, the solitude, the mild climate. I would be hard-pressed to find anyhere else with this combination of facotrs.
But unless things pick up for TFR and I find work soon, I may have to bite the bullet and start looking beyond Oregon.