The West Coast is synonymous with innovation growth and prosperity and Portland is no exception. With it’s steady and growing talent base, the labor pool is growing at a rate six times the national average.  Which makes the current job market in Portland competitive and healthy.

Job Growth

As of March 2018 Portland’s unemployment rate was 4.1%.  This is an exceptionally low rate, and hasn’t been seen since the mid-1970s. This is in large part due to the growing job market in Portland.  Since the 2009 recession Portland has created 207000 jobs.  The job market in Portland’s growth is 7% higher than the rest of the country making it a attractive place for new talent and retention.

Income and Salaries

Not only does the job market in Portland make it attractive.   The average income for Portland residents is noticeably higher than other areas of the United States. For  example, the average Portland income is almost $4000/year higher than the national average.  This adds up, considering the cost of living  and all the other things the city has to offer.


It’s no secret that Portland is a beautiful place to live? It’s located on the West Coast where you can find beaches for surfing and mountains for skiing and snowboarding just a short distance away.  The beauty of Portland is a selling feature for employers.  Due to being located in an enjoyable place to live. Because of the competitive job market,  strong infrastructure and career opportunities in private public and non-profit sectors Portland is an ideal location for job seekers and employers alike.

Diverse Industries fueling the Job Market in Portland

Portland is known for its diverse industries.  Here is a breakdown of some of these industries to help illustrate the diversity:

  • Software IT: Some of the largest private sector employers in Portland are software IT companies. Companies such as Intel and Comcast grace the top 15 list for number of employees in the region demonstrating the importance of software IT for job growth in the region. This is an industry that is growing across the country and Portland is helping lead that growth with competitive wages and low turnover rates.
  • Manufacturing is another important industry for job growth in the region making up 11% of the workforce. It’s no surprise given that that Portland is home to high-tech electronic manufacturing complementing the large software IT presence.
  • Aside from tech Portland has a strong healthcare sector employing 113000 people. With the aging population growing this industry will only become more important. The strong presence already in the region makes it well positioned to continue to grow with changing demographics.
  • Athletic and Outdoor Apparel: Home to Nike headquarters and some of the most beautiful hiking and running trails in the country it’s not surprising that another of Portland’s leading job creators is the athletic and outdoor apparel industry.
  • Education is one of the top employers in both the private and public spheres in Portland – it makes up over 50% of the top 15 largest public-sector employers in the region. With the high number of education institutions Portland is not only a strong employer for those in the educational sphere but it is also ensuring a growing talent base of graduates for employers in a variety of industries.

With these diverse industries strong talent pool steady job growth and beautiful location Portland is perfect for job seekers and employers alike.

Article By: Laura Sonneberg – Vintage Real Estate