By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation,
While hiring has increased in manufacturing, construction hospitality, and health care since Covid-19 pandemic, jobs in Oregon’s financial sector have dropped, according to the Portland Business Journal. Part of the slump can be attributed to commercial banking, which cut Oregon employment by 22 percent since 2017, partly due to the collapse of regional banks like First Republic. Yet the financial sector in Oregon last year still employed more than 11,000 people. Commercial banking nationally dropped 0.5 percent since 2017. However, credit unions have seen a 19 percent increase in employment since 2017 to 5,563, while loan brokerage jobs rose 52 percent during that time to 1,491.
According to CoStar, in Portland over 20% of downtown office space was listed vacant in the first quarter of 2022. That vacancy rate is double than the pre-pandemic year of 2019. Massive office vacancies are a threat to the health of financial institutions which rely on them as a bedrock of their investments.