Portland’s Manufacturing Growth Is Impressive, but Not for Everyone

According to the March 2019 Multnomah County Economic Indicators report, the Portland manufacturing sector has grown impressively since the great recession, having created close to 250,000 jobs since 2010. With its 24-percent growth, it has also kept up with the broader economic recovery. Overall, in the last 12 months, manufacturing jobs grew by 3.7 percent in the Portland Region. The average annual wage for the manufacturing sector in Multnomah County is also higher than the larger economy at $81,821 (2017 figures), which is about 89 percent of the average annual wage of the Professional and Technical Services industry in the same region ($92,041 average wage).

This glowing report is not the same in the eastern portions of Multnomah County, however, where wage inequity, cost-burdened households, and transportation work-life imbalance (meaning that the majority of residents of East Multnomah County don't work where they live and vice versa) continue to plague the population. This area of Oregon is a special focus of the annual regional Economic Check-Up for 2019 conducted by the Value of Jobs Coalition and released by the Portland Business Alliance on February 13, 2019.

More work is to be done for sure to make life for all residents in Multnomah County better; but Portlanders should be proud of such an impressive recovery in an age of increasing automation and foreign competition.