Manufacturing jobs a social equalizer

Manufacturing jobs a social equalizer

Portland's manufacturing jobs pay more, and offer economic equity for minorities.

Non-white workers earn almost 50 percent more in manufacturing jobs than in non-manufacturing jobs, according to a study by ECONorthwest, a Portland economic consulting firm. Employees who don't speak English at home, most often recent immigrants, earn 47 percent more in manufacturing jobs.

Manufacturing is a surprisingly big player: The Portland area has 107,000 manufacturing jobs, 17th among American metro areas. Manufacturing workers make up nearly 11 percent of the Portland area workforce.