Portland State releases its economic forecast


Manufacturing 2    PSU's Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC) released its economic forecast this week.
   NERC reports that the Portland Metro Area is experiencing its longest job expansion on record.
   The report shows unemployment in the metro area was 3.9 percent in March, with industries such as construction, transportation, warehousing, utilities, and wholesale seeing some of the largest job growth - some of this growth is tied to the opening of new Amazon distribution centers.
   "While we may soon celebrate the longest job expansion here in the Portland MSA, not all is rosy in the Rose City and surrounding counties," said Tom Potiowsky, a NERC senior advisor who co-authored the report. "Issues that put pressure on economic growth include public sector budgets, housing affordability and homelessness, the opioid crisis, and climate change."
   In Washington County, the number of non-farm employment jobs rose to 300,800 in April - a number some officials haven't seen before in the county.
   Workforce Analyst Emily Starbuck said in her recent report that Washington County experienced an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent in April with an increase of 6,500 jobs in the course of the year.
  Clackamas County's unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in April, but the biggest thing to note, according to Workforce Analyst Lynn Wallis is the population growth - Clackamas County has the top three fastest growing cities in the state (Happy Valley, Molalla, and Wilsonville).
  To see more, turn to NERC's economic forecast, Starbuck's Washington County report; Wallis' Clackamas County report; and/or University of Oregon Economist Tim Duy's April 2019 Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators.