County Population Forecast
By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog.
A quick follow-up on previous post on improving employment in regions of the state outside of Portland. Using the latest QCEW again, the first graph illustrates over-the-year job gains for the state overall, the Portland MSA (5 county region) and then the remainder of the state. As you can see, it’s a story of an improving employment landscape across the rest of the state that has driven the increases in employment growth in the past year.
This colorful graph shows the share of statewide employment growth by region. Portland’s growth today, which itself has been pretty stable and consistent, now accounts for about two-thirds of overall growth, down from about 90% two years ago. Nearly all regions of the state have seen growth in the past year (defined here as 2011q4-2012q4), with Willamette Valley counties adding about 3,000 private sector jobs, Southern Oregon adding around 2,600 and Central Oregon adding 2,100. The North Coast (400), Northeastern Oregon (700) and the Gorge (200) have all also added private sector jobs over the year. The South Coast counties and South Central/Southeastern counties did see small declines of less than 1%.
Given that one of the main trends through the initial few years of the expansion was that Oregon’s growth was concentrated in the Portland MSA, I find all these other regional gains very encouraging.