2023 State of the Economy & State of Downtown reports released

February 2023

The Portland Business Alliance and Downtown Portland Clean & Safe released its State of the Economy and State of Downtown & Central City reports. These reports were produced in partnership with ECONorthwest and presented by Bank of America, along with the Value of Jobs coalition including Greater Portland Inc, Oregon Business & Industry, Oregon Business Council and the Port of Portland.

This year’s indicators mark a crossroads for our region’s economic future.

The State of the Economy report continues to examine Portland metro’s economic recovery over the course of 2022 and takes a deeper dive into our changing population and migration of people and businesses within our region. The report highlights: jobs recovery trends in the most affected industries, continued population decline in Multnomah County, growing unaffordability, and a comparative tax analysis based on household or business location across the Portland region.

Also being released is the first ever, State of Downtown & Central City report. This special report expands on last year’s data and digs deeper into how Downtown Portland plays a vital role in our regional and state economies. The pandemic has disrupted the role of downtowns across the U.S. with virtual meetings and hybrid work but has not eliminated the need for face-to-face collaboration. As we enter 2023, this report assesses the economic condition of the Downtown and Central City.

This data is designed to help better understand the impacts of growing unaffordability, reputational challenges, remote or hybrid work, rising office vacancy rates and a widely varied method of taxation across our region.

“Our community is at a critical inflection point,” said Roger Hinshaw, Bank of America president for Oregon and SW Washington. “The 2023 State of the Economy and State of Downtown & Central City Reports clearly outline the threats we face and underscores the need for a better path forward. In order to secure the vitality of our region, our government, business and community leaders must collaborate to confront the serious challenges we face and build an inclusive roadmap to achieve the results we all want for our families, businesses and our neighbors.”

Key Takeaways:

  • 5.4% – Portland metro job growth in 2022, Multnomah County lags by 4.5% from pre-pandemic levels.
  • 10.4% – Jobs gained in Leisure & Hospitality sector, only outpaced by Construction sector.
  • -12,691 – Population decline by out-migration in Multnomah County.
  • $117 million – Multnomah County income loss from migration to Clark County, WA, 2019-20.
  • 32% – Increase of local business taxes in the City of Portland since 2019.
  • 48% – Employee foot traffic in Portland’s Central City, below 2019 levels.
  • 65% – Employee foot traffic in Downtown district, below 2019 levels.
  • 8 million – Square feet of vacant class A, B and C office space in Portland’s Central City.
  • $280.8 million – Annual property tax revenue in Central City and Downtown Portland Clean & Safe district in 2022.

“While our regional economy is trending in a positive direction after having recovered all the jobs lost from the pandemic, it is the heart, Central City Portland, that is struggling and needs help,” said Portland Business Alliance President & CEO Andrew Hoan. “Without urgent and focused interventions that deploy every available tool to help return livability and vibrancy to our downtown, we will not enjoy the promise of shared economic prosperity that is vital for our region and the state.”



Portland Business Alliance – Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce – was founded in 1870 and is the leading voice for business in the region. The Alliance represents the largest, most diverse business network in the region, bringing together nearly 1,900 dynamic members, and advocates at all levels of government to support commerce, community health, and the region’s overall prosperity.

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District – The Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District was established in 1988 to support additional cleaning and security in a 213 block-area of Portland’s Central City. In addition to these important services, the district supports market research, retail recruitment and retention for Downtown Portland. The district is managed by the Portland Business Alliance under the direction of the district’s board of directors.

ECONorthwest – ECONorthwest is an independent economic consulting firm. Since 1974, we have worked with a variety of public and private clients across the country, offering economic perspectives on issues ranging from wildfire recovery to education inequities and affordable housing. Our clients have one thing in common – they want insightful, rigorous analyses to strengthen policy and investment decisions.

Bank of America – Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATM and award-winning digital banking with approximately 56 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.