Why this matters to Oregonians
There is plenty of good news in this latest economic checkup, as jobs are returning and we continue to see strength in manufacturing and our GMP. But we cannot rest, as there is more to be done to grow the number of higher-paying jobs that support families and public services.
As we saw in last yearís annual check-up, we need to pay attention to the type of jobs that we are creating. While we have seen an increase in both local-sector and traded-sector jobs, we need to remember that traded-sector jobs typically pay more and play an important role in growing the local sector. Trade-based businesses, such as those highlighted in the 2013 Value of Jobs International Trade Study, make purchases across the region, helping to spur economic activity.
This report shows the need for continued support of our policy goals to boost economic growth and improve our regionís quality of life.
These goals include:
- Improve educational attainment of Portland-metro and Oregon students;
- Increase the availability of industrial land to add more manufacturing, higher wage jobs;
- Invest in transportation infrastructure to improve productivity and keep growing the regionís GMP;
- Focus economic development efforts on supporting traded-sector industries; and
- Reform state and local tax systems to incent private investment and stabilize public services.
We are encouraged by the findings in this yearís report as the trend lines are in an upward direction, but we hope that by focusing on these initiatives we can catch up to our aspirational peer metros and, more importantly, enable more families to be financially secure and support our regionís public services.