Portland area employment and income still lagging

Oregon Prosperity Project

A group of Oregon’s leading business associations released a report this week detailing how the Portland Metropolitan economy ranks with other metropolitan economies throughout the US.

Some interesting findings:

  • Portland-metro’s employment per capita remained 6 percent below pre-recession levels by the close of 2010, compared to a 5 percent gap among all U.S. metros.
  • Portland-metro’s employment drop was also worse, dropping 8 percent (or by 81,200 fewer people employed), which was two percentage points lower than the average for U.S. metro areas. Only 17,900 new employees have been added back.
  •  Portland-metro is ranked 23rd in population size, but 73rd in real personal income per capita and 136th in employment per capita. Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis metros continue to exceed expectations, generating higher per capita incomes than would be predicted by their size alone.
  • There is some good news…One area where Portland-metro performs exceptionally well is in the growth of its gross metropolitan product per capita (GMP). Between 2001 and 2010, the Portland-metro’s GMP per capita grew from about 5 percent below the U.S. metro average to about 20 percent above the U.S. metro average.

Visit the Oregon Prosperity Project web site


  • Ladywriter

    Don’t worry – with higher taxes and more government spending the Portland area will soon pick up. Also, new light rail will help a lot with our high unemployment.
    Do not despair. With the dems firmly in control our state will be safe for decades to come.

    • Bob Clark

      Oh, wait the Dems have been firmly in control of our state and Portland for much of the last quarter century.  Remember, though, if the plan isn’t working; it’s not the planning causing the problem.  Quite the opposite we are told.  The planning needs to increase down to planning such things as the height of the blades of grass on your lawn, the type of meal you are to be permitted, the means by which you can grocery shop, etc.

      • 3H

        Bob… codes enforcing the length of a lawn long predate Democrats “controlling” Portland.  And, in fact, when lawns get too lawn, they tend to attract rats and other rodents and creatures, etc… and create an issue for their neighbors.  Put another way, can you point me to any other city or town in the United States that doesn’t have a municipal code dealing with upkeep of people’s yards?

        Type of meal permitted?   Does Portland regulate this?

        • None

          The state regulates the type of meal permitted–they don’t want you to eat in restaurants that don’t practice good hygiene.

          Most people think this is a good thing. Perhaps the legislature could create an exception for dirty restaurants that cater only to conservatives and libertarians.

  • 3H

    So.. if the the GMP is increasing, and real personal income is falling, that would mean??   Where is that increase in value of goods and services produced going?

  • Anonymous

    Well gee, what do you expect. Liberals control Portland and have controlled Portland for several decades. 

    Liberal is just another word for failure. Want proof? Look at Obozo and how the country has been on the failure path for the past three years.

    • valley person

      Yes Joel, and liberals must also control the southern states, which are in as bad or worse shape than here.

      • valley person

        10 of the 12 worst states for poverty are “red” states. 4 of the 6 best states (lowest poverty rates) are “blue”. Oregon is in the tier just below the best.


      • Anonymous

        Great, so how do you explain why Portland is in the toilet?

        • None


          When are you going to grow up? Most people grow out of the name-calling phase by about 15 or 16. 

          I realize that your heroes Lars and Rush share your pre-adolescent failing. Rather than emulating them, perhaps you could take a good, hard look at why you listen to people whose behavior would get them sent to the principal’s office if they were in school.

          • Anonymous

            How typically liberal. First you lambaste me for name calling, then proceed to call me pre-adolescent. But then you probably don’t get the irony.

            Second, I listen to neither Lars nor Rush and haven’t for years. Furthermore, neither is someone I would consider a hero. Apparently, as a liberal, you think conservatives are incapable of thinking for themselves. 

            Would you like it if I  said your heroes are Thom Hartmann and Chris Matthews and  you should grow up and quit listening to them? Hartmann, who I have recently listened to. is a name caller and Matthews, who I listened to just yesterday, can’t let anyone else talk. He’s a serial intrupter.

        • valley person

          It isn’t, so there is nothing to explain.

          • Anonymous

            So, how is life there in Fantasyland VP?

          • valley person

            It only looks like fantasy land from your grumpyoldmanland vantage point. The objective reality is that Portland’s economy is recovering faster than the national average, and much faster than that part of Oregon outside the metro area.

            If we are “in the toilet,” its the same toilet the rest of the nation is in, recovering from the deepest recession since the 1930s.

            How do you explain the economic condition of the southern states Joel? They have all the policies your side advocates for Portland and Oregon: no state minimum wages, right to work laws, low taxes on the rich, and low regulation. Why aren’t they thriving?

  • valley person

    I wonder if anyone bothered to read the report. It has some interesting nuggets. Cities that are doing better, notably Seattle, Denver, and minneapolis, are guess what? Also run by liberal Democrats.

    Taxes as a percent of income have gone up exactly 0% since 1983. In other words, Portland’s liberal leadership has not managed to raise taxes.

    Portland’s economic growth is currently faster than the average of cities nation wide. 4% here versus a 3% average, and employment is recovering faster here than the average. 

    The title of the post could as easily have been: “Portland area income and employment recovering faster than the average of US cities.”

    But that wouldn’t fit the catalyst theme very well now would it?

    • Ladywriter

      Exactly – which is why I said what I said.

    • Anonymous

      Gee VP, I read the report and I know you cherry picked the couple of areas where Portland is doing okay and ignored all of the areas where Portland sucks hind teat. Courtroom examination rule #1: Never ask a question unless you know the answer.

      You were expecting a bunch of “I dun knows” here. Typical liberal, if it isn’t on TPM or MMfA then it never happened. Never give a conservative credit (Obozo rule #1.)

      • valley person

        Yes, that was my point. Catalyst cherry picked the data that made Portland look behind. They could as easily have picked other data that make Portland look ahead.

        So what is “reality?” Its a mixed picture. Portland is ahead on some things and behind on others. Is that so hard?

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