2024 State of the Economy and Central City reports

February 2024

Establishing a new baseline for Portland’s regional economy

Every year, the Portland Metro Chamber releases its annual report on the health of our regional economy. Our 2024 report, which includes comprehensive economic and demographic analyses, culminated in these key takeaways:

Portland's job growth has slowed

In the last part of 2023, Portland lost jobs particularly those concentrated in high productivity and office sectors. Job growth also lagged the U.S. average, a deviation from historical trends.

It's time to re-evaluate our peer regions

Our previous peers of Austin, Nashville, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, and Seattle have continued to leave Portland behind. Given dynamic economic conditions, it was time to reconsidered our peer group. After creating a cluster of regions with similar populations, per capita income, cost burdening, gross domestic product, among other variables, we landed on a new group of peers (Sacramento, Denver, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Seattle). The new peer regions include cities facing similar growth patterns and comparable challenges, allowing our region to compare ourselves more realistically.

A deeper dive into Downtown and Portland's Central City

Our new peer regions are also experiencing declining migration and facing similar Central City conditions based on foot traffic trends, mix of use and density. Portland’s Central City had a strong recovery in 2023 and we have now reached a stabilized new normal.

Portland's governments must be more efficient with tax dollars

Between 2010 and 2020, Portland experienced a 26% increase in taxes driven by voter-approved ballot measures. Portland spends more per capita than most of its peers, surpassed only by Denver when factoring in the recent expenditures from voter-approved specialized measure that are not available to address some of the community’s top concerns, including basic services like public safety and the 911-emergency response system.

Read the full report


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These reports start a new era in our analysis as we stabilize into a new normal. Therefore, we will no longer compare ourselves to 2019 and establish 2024 as the Portland regional economic baseline.

This report is presented by:

State of the Economy Report Partners