A look into Portland-metro's health care industry

Health care study summary (pdf)
Full report data (3.3MB pdf)

There is hardly a sector of the economy that has been discussed more in recent years than the health care industry. At virtually every level of government, policy makers have debated how to make care more affordable and accessible to all Americans, and delivery systems are changing to adapt to this new reality.

In Portland-metro, as in nearly every major U.S. metro region, the health care industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. The job growth is impressive, but, for this industry at least, jobs are a secondary part of the story. More important are health outcomes and the efficiency of the health care delivery system.

This new report by the Value of Jobs Coalition shows that, for Portland-metro, health care is, on the whole, a good news story. The region is home to a population that is relatively healthy compared to other major U.S. metro areas, and it is supported by a smaller-than-expected health care industry that, by most measurements, delivers service efficiently and effectively. Portland-metro already is known for low per capita spending on Medicare, but other, lesser known measurements also demonstrate the effectiveness of the health care delivery system. Looking ahead, the region is on its way to forming coordinated care organizations (CCOs) as part of the national health care transformation, and, over time, these CCOs, as well as other innovations, should deliver even more efficiencies.

And, finally, a little known story is the growing importance of the health care sector as a traded-sector industry Ė an industry that exports goods and services outside of the region, bringing new dollars to Portland-metro. Traded-sector industries are the important foundational base of the regional economy. This report shows how health care is a key component of that foundation and one that can be expanded. Today the region has a unique opportunity to dramatically expand the traded-sector component of its health care economy through the OHSU Knight Cancer Challenge.



Number of Portland-metro health care jobs

$6.9 billion.

Total annual Portland-metro health care payroll


Percentage of regionís jobs related to health care


Percentage of regional payroll related to health care


Number of people employed at the regionís four largest health care providers


Percentage growth expected in middle-wage health care jobs between 2012 and 2022

$1.9 billion.

Revenue generated by traded-sector activities in Portland-metro health care industry


Traded-sector jobs in regional health care industry