Over last 10 years, Portland Oregon has enjoyed steady economic growth. In addition, it has also established leadership status in eco-consciousness, creativity and off-beat coolness. Therefore many creative types and IT folks has migrated to Portland and total polupation has increased by 14% from 1,936,110 in 2000 to 2,207,462 in 2008. Many of new residents are from California and, compared to San Francisco or Los Angeles, affordable real estate was great attraction.
I would like to introduce a couple of interesting article about Portland's economic challenges as follows.
'Youth Magnet' Cities Hit Midlife Crisis - WSJ.com
- As seen from below chart, Portland has attracted decent share of 25+ adults with college degree between 2005 and 2007.
- This article focuses on challenging job market for young adults who moved to Portland.
- I found it amazing that, while everyone laments about job situation but nobody says negative things about Portland. Those folks are having very difficult time keeping or finding good income job.
|Metro||Total Population||2005 - 07 Annual Migration Educated 25+||Share on Total Population|
Oregon Fail - Hard times for business and real estate out West. Forbes.com
This commentary has pointed out Portlant/Oregon's economic problem as follows:
- Cost of doing business and regulation in Oregon is one of the highest in US. It is very difficult to compete against business-friendly states such as Texas and Idaho.
- Oregonian priority is enjoying life Vs. growth -- therefore recession hit harder to Oregon than to other states.
- Lack of economic diversity. Oregon depends too much on durable consumption goods such as lumber mills, semiconductor and motor coach.
- Oregon once attracted IT business such as semiconductor. But, due to high cost of business, many of IT related jobs fled to other states and to Asia.
- Because of skyrocketted real estate, middle class family can no longer afford housing in Portland. Expensive real estate made migration to Portland less attractive.
- Increasing population has driven real estate construction and lumber business but those business are suffering now.
- As much of business and migration was from California. California economy slump has caused severe dents in Oregon economy.
- Outside of Portland, education level not so high. Low education employees job security is very shaky under recession.
- Oregon does not have many large corporation headquarters. Therefore, when companies reduce headcounts, they tend to ax jobs in non-core locations.
It is quite interesting to how Portland evolves!