Key Facts

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  • Multnomah County has lost 26,463 private-sector jobs since 1997. It ranks second to the bottom in job creation among 199 counties in the west* over the last decade.
  • Portland-metro residents have lower wages and incomes than residents of peer regions. Because Oregon is an income-tax dependent state this means fewer resources for schools, law enforcement and other important public services.
  • Forty years ago Portland-metro wages and incomes looked more like our peer regions, but since then our peers have steadily outperformed the regionís economy. Today, our average incomes are 16 to 21 percent lower than those of our peers.
  • In the 1990s, the growing gap between Portland-metroís economic fortunes and its peers widened significantly. Private-sector job growth stalled after 1997 and has declined since 2000. Meanwhile, our peer regions have been more resilient, replacing jobs and wages lost in the late 1990sí recession with new firms and industries, especially knowledge-based industries like software and professional services.
  • The Portland-metro area does not notably out-perform our peers on ďcompensatingĒ characteristics such as cost of living or quality of life. Our peers are achieving high quality of life AND higher wages and incomes.
  • The region has characteristics that bode well for future economic growth such as a relatively low cost of living compared to other west coast cities; strategic position on the Pacific Rim; transportation infrastructure; a strong entrepreneurial and small business climate, and a healthy international trade sector. But those characteristics alone do not constitute a successful economic strategy.


2010
BY THE NUMBERS:

198th out of 199.

Ranking of Multnomah County in private-sector job creation out of the 194 counties and 5 multi-county areas in the five western* states from 1997 to 2009.

26,463.

Number of private-sector jobs lost in Multnomah County from 1997 to 2009.

16% to 21%.

Amount by which per capita income in Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis metros exceeds Portland-metro.

$86.8 million.

Amount of additional funding that would be available to Multnomah County schools each year if Portlandmetro had the same per capita income as Seattle-metro.

25%, 15% & 9%.

Percent by which Portland-metro residents' per capita interest, dividend and rent income lagged those of Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver-metros' respectively in 2008.

66%.

Percent of net job creation in Oregon from small businesses between 1977 and 2005.

44th.

Oregonís college affordability rank out of 50 states.

29th & 26th.

Oregonís rank in the U.S. News ranking of college undergraduate and graduate programs respectively, out of 50 states.

* Includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and California.