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New jobs report shows manufacturing sector as source of higher wages, better benefits for Portland-metro workers

For more information, contact:
Megan Doern, 503.552.6754

September 26, 2012

Portland, Ore. – What sector provides 59 percent more in benefits and 8 percent more in wages across education levels?  What sector employs 11 percent of Portland-metro’s workforce?  The answer to those questions is: the manufacturing sector.  These findings are part of the latest Value of Jobs Coalition report issued today that highlights how manufacturing-based businesses support Portland-metro’s families and overall economy.  The report can be found here.

“Our region has a long and proud history in advanced and metal products manufacturing, which was strengthened tremendously over the years by high-tech manufacturing,” said Dennis Rawlinson, chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors and firm chair of Miller Nash. “These findings demonstrate the need for a greater investment in and a more concentrated effort on the issues that can support manufacturing’s growth – transportation infrastructure, land readiness and STEM education.”

Highlights of the report include:
  • In 2010, Portland-metro’s manufacturing sector produced $32.6 billion worth of output, which constitutes more than 26 percent of total regional output;
  • The manufacturing sector is a gateway for workers from a variety of backgrounds to gain access to family-wage jobs and good benefits;
  • Roughly 70 percent of all manufacturing firms in the region have fewer than 20 employees; and
  • Portland-metro is home to a number of “tipping point” industries that positions the region well for possible growth in the future.
This report is a part of the Value of Jobs Coalition’s campaign to raise the awareness of the value of private-sector jobs to the health of the Portland-metro region. The coalition’s work includes a series of economic studies, outreach to elected officials and candidates for office and communication with the public about how a healthy economy creates good quality of life.

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.