Portland's jobs flee the urban core

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Thursday, April 18, 2013

BY BRANDON SAWYER | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

04.18.13 Blog CommuteWhile residential flight to the suburbs ebbed in the last decade or two amid urban gentrification, most jobs are still migrating outward.  Today the Brookings Institution released a report, Job Sprawl Stalls: The Great Recession and Metropolitan Employment Location, showing jobs continued to radiate away from urban cores since the year 2000, despite the recession’s harsh effects on sprawl-prone industries like construction, retail and manufacturing.

In an accompanying release, report author and Brookings fellow Elizabeth Kneebone says, “Building a healthy and sustainable regional economy is not just about growing jobs, but also about where those jobs locate. Low-density, sprawling development can lead to increased energy consumption, strains on infrastructure, longer commute times, and greater challenges connecting workers to employment.”

In Portland’s metro area, a measly 2,963 total jobs were added (+0.3%) during the entire decade, yet the area 10 to 35 miles away from its central business district (CBD) gained 27,556 jobs (+3.1%), largely because 5,119 jobs were lost (-0.8%) in the area 3 to 10 miles from the CBD. The three-mile city core lost 19,474 jobs (-2.3%).

Presumably, factors that contributed to this flow include employers moving workforces to the outer reaches and more new businesses starting up there, as well as layoffs and closures close to the CBD. So as ever more residents living downtown or in inner Northeast Portland find themselves commuting out to suburban campuses of like Nike and HP, they are retracing in reverse their forbears path who once commuted to jobs in the city from ranch homes in Beaverton or Wilsonville.

Portland does compare somewhat favorably to the nation in terms of job sprawl. Just 29.5% of its 2010 jobs were 10-35 miles from the CBD versus 43.1% for the 100 largest U.S. metros. The bulk of Portland’s jobs, 46.8%, were 3-10 miles out, versus 34.1% nationally; 23.8% of Portland jobs and 22.9% of 100-metro average jobs were in the inner three miles. Western neighbors San Jose, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City were among the top five most job-centralized metro areas.

In the current decade, efforts to encourage bringing jobs back to its core could go a long way toward achieving Portland's goals of greater sustainability, infrastructure efficiency and economic vitality.

JobSprawl2010

JobSprawl2010.2

 

Research editor Brandon Sawyer digs heaps of data about privately-held and public companies, economics and industries.

 

More Articles

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Wildcards

Guest Blog
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
072815fergusonthumbBY JASON NORRIS

Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.


Read more...

Ranking the airlines that fly PDX

The Latest
Friday, August 14, 2015
airlinesthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS