NEW SURVEY: Employment in Central City hits new record

NEW SURVEY: Employment in Central City hits new record

Investments in cleanliness leads to historic progress in Downtown Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – Downtown Portland Clean & Safe recently released the results from its 2018 Downtown Portland Business Census & Survey. This annual report gathers feedback from businesses located in the Central City highlighting the health of business and livability issues in our city’s central core.

Key findings from this year’s report include:
  • A record 102,630 people now work in Downtown Portland (up slightly from 2017 record).
  • More businesses (5,066) are located in Downtown Portland.
  • Top factors influencing businesses locating or staying downtown include: 1) central location; 2) proximity to other businesses; 3) access to public transportation; 4) accessibility; and 5) density of people and atmosphere.
  • 64% of respondents feel cleanliness in downtown “needs improvement.”
  • Of the businesses located in downtown, 21% plan to expand in the next two years.
  • Top factors that businesses believe need improvement include: 1) transients; 2) cleanliness; 3) panhandlers; 4) cost of parking; and 5) availability of parking.
  • When evaluating how downtown employees get to work, 35% drive alone, 48% take transit, and only 8% ride bikes.
In response to the expressed need for improved cleanliness this year, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe invested in 200 new high-capacity garbage cans and worked closely with the City of Portland to reach a historic agreement for seven-day a week garbage pickup in the Central City.

The Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District conducts the Downtown Portland Business Census & Survey each year, surveying employers within the I-405/I-5 loop. Data is collected using mailed questionnaires, personal follow-up and block-by-block canvassing to obtain a statistically significant survey sample, circulated from October 2018 to October 2019.   

The report also includes employment data from the State of Oregon, provided through a partnership with Prosper Portland.

Click here to view the entire Downtown Business Census & Survey.

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District
Downtown Portland’s Clean & Safe District, founded in 1988 by downtown property owners and managers, includes 213 blocks in the heart of Portland. The district provides additional cleaning and security as well as market research, retail recruitment and retention efforts. Downtown Portland Clean & Safe operates under the direction of the district’s board of directors and is an affiliate partner of Portland Business Alliance. Learn more at