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December 17, 2014
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today a coalition of business and civic leaders released the latest in a series of economic studies examining how the Portland-metro region is performing compared to the U.S. metro average and other comparable metro areas. The study shows that the Portland-metro region has gained back the jobs lost in the recession, but median household incomes still falls below the pre-recession levels. This year’s report also shines a light on job growth relative to population growth, revealing that Portland-metro’s employment per capita has been on a decline for more than a decade.
“This report shows that jobs are back, and that is great news,” said Sandra McDonough, president & CEO of the Portland Business Alliance. “However, lagging wages continue to impact families. And, in an income-tax-dependent state like Oregon, lower incomes means less revenue for important public services like education. We need to make sure we keep a focus on growing and retaining quality jobs that can support families, especially those critically important middle-income jobs.”
This fifth Economic Check-Up focuses on three measures that indicate the health of the Portland-metro economy: employment, income, and Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP). For the first time, this report compares job growth relative to population growth and cost of living. Key report findings include:
- Job growth outpaced the national average with 84,875 jobs added between 2010 and August 2014, compared to 64,500 jobs lost in the recession.
- Median household income remained $4,408 below pre-recession levels.
- Portland-metro’s per capita income was 4.6 percent less than the average for metro areas.
- Productivity, ranked third in the nation for Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) growth between 2009 and 2014.
- Earners in the top 30 percent made as much as 14 percent less than the national average for metro areas.
- Earners in the bottom 20 percent make 10 to 30 percent more than the national average for metro areas.
View the full report at valueofjobs.com.