Portland Market Report
Expanding Local Employers Spur In-Migrations, But Metro Still Faces Pandemic-Induced Headwinds
Jobs lost during shutdown slow to return. Employers in the metro reduced staffing by 163,900 people in March and April, sending the unemployment rate to a peak of 14.6 percent. Since lockdown orders began to lift, roughly 61,300 of the positions had been brought back as of September, cutting the rate to 8.1 percent, slightly higher than the national number. Construction was one of the least impacted employment sectors since the beginning of 2020, buoyed by new commercial developments breaking ground and booming demand for new homes. As expected, the hardest-hit segment was leisure and hospitality. The sector has added more than 33,500 workers since April but is still down almost 40,000 staffers so far this year. Many of these positions are not likely to return if more restaurants and small businesses permanently shutter.