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Latest Value of Jobs Coalition report shows force of traded-sector jobs

Report showcases connection between big and small businesses

For more information, contact:
Megan Doern, 503.552.6754

July 12, 2012

Portland, Ore. – Today, the Portland Business Alliance, in partnership with the Value of Jobs Coalition, released its latest study: Portland-Metro’s Traded Sector: A source of good jobs, higher wages and small business growth. This report explains how traded-sector employers pay higher wages, catalyze small businesses and support job growth in the local sector. The report also reveals where Portland-metro wages are struggling as well as a decline in entrepreneurial activity. The report can be read here.

A region’s traded sector includes industries and employers which produce goods and services that are consumed outside the region where they are made, bringing new dollars into a region. A region’s local sector includes industries and employers which produce goods and services that are consumed in a region. Both sectors are essential to a region’s economic health.

“The goal of our work is to better understand how our region’s economy functions and identify our region’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Dennis Rawlinson, Chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors and Firm Chair of Miller Nash LLP. “This study gets into the details as to why the Portland region lags peer cities in wages and incomes and shows that entrepreneurial activity and local sector jobs depend on a healthy and growing traded sector.”

Highlights of the report’s findings include:
  • On average a Portland-metro, traded-sector worker earns 42 percent more per year compared to a local-sector worker.
  • One high-skilled traded-sector job creates on average 2.5 local-sector jobs.
  • In 2011, 32 new businesses were created in Oregon per 10,000 adults, comparable to the U.S. average, but below 1999-2001 levels in Oregon.
  • Average wage of a Portland-metro, traded-goods sector worker is $56,000, which is $7,700 less than a Denver-metro, traded-goods sector worker.
  • Average wage of a Portland-metro, traded-services sector worker is $47,200 which is $14,200 less than a Seattle-metro, traded-services sector worker.
The study also includes stories about larger Portland-metro, traded-sector employers that work with smaller businesses, supporting both job growth and innovation throughout the region.

“When we first began this effort more than two years ago, we didn’t have a clear understanding of what was really happening in our region’s economy,” said Roger Hinshaw, President, Oregon & SW Washington for Bank of America and former Chair of the Portland Business Alliance.  “With each report, we get a better understanding of what is happening and how we can improve wages and incomes and retain and grow private-sector jobs.”

To learn more about the Value of Jobs campaign, visit


The Value of Jobs Coalition
The Value of Jobs Coalition is based on the premise that in order to have a prosperous, healthy Portland region with a good quality of life, we need more private-sector jobs. The coalition began with an economic study in the fall of 2010, which uncovered troubling economic data about the Portland-metro region. A number of other studies have followed that highlight the region’s economic opportunities and challenges. Find out more at:

The Portland Business Alliance
The Portland Business Alliance is Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. With nearly 1,200 members, we strive to promote and foster an environment in the Portland region that attracts, supports and retains private sector jobs, spurs economic vitality and enables quality educational opportunities for the region's residents.