Power manifests in myriad ways.
There are the political power players like Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and Oregon Sen. Peter Courtney. There are the titans of industry and philanthropy, such as Phil Knight, Arlene Schnitzer and Tim Boyle.
Then there are the professional power players. We’re not talking about lobbyists; we’re referring to professional services, an industry category that includes but is not limited to accounting, advertising, marketing, architectural firms, consultants, wealth managers and legal firms.
Below, you will find our Power Book, a compilation that focuses on movers and shakers in professional services. The sector’s economic impact is considerable. In Oregon the professional and business service sectors comprised $23 billion of the state’s gross domestic product, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures compiled by the Oregon Employment Department. (GDP is the market value of all final goods and services produced in the state.) That’s about one-ninth of the private-sector’s $189.4 billion total contribution to GDP.
Employment in the sector is growing. In October 2016, professional services employed 240,800 Oregonians, up from 228,000 in 2015. Total wages for professional services in 2015 were $14.7 billion, and the average annual wage for the category was $64,607. That’s about $17,000 more than the $47,776 average annual wage for all private sector employees.
Like most industry categories, professional services are undergoing tremendous change. Executive interviews and case studies culled from our Powerbook companies suggest firms are under increasing pressure to deliver results and have a recognizable impact on their clients’ businesses. Among the challenges: recruiting and retaining talent, staying alert to ever-changing technology trends, and leveraging existing strengths to deliver projects more effciently and at a higher level of quality. Above all, leading-edge firms must continually reinvent themselves and stay ahead of the markets they serve.
Oregon professional services may not have the name recognition of other power players, but they are a critical segment of the state’s diversified economy. Retaining and growing their financial position is an ongoing task but one that will benefit participating companies, their employees and the state at large.
Check out the 2017 Power Book below.