The Portland Business Alliance has done a deep-dive on the data for the Portland-area economy, and some interesting things have emerged. Here’s some of the bullet points they found.
72% decline in Downtown Portland foot traffic – This one hits me kind of hard, because I’m still one of the people who loves downtown Portland. The stat totally makes sense. Commercial real estate down here is tremendously expensive. And speaking from personal experience, our company takes up 1.5 city blocks down here, and there’s probably… 9 people using that right now? Just like everybody else, we pivoted to a work remotely model, and we simply don’t need that much downtown space. Couple that with the fact that I’m paying $240/month to park down here? It makes sense that plenty of people just don’t need to come downtown. But I think it sucks. This city is wonderful when it’s wonderful.
$94,000 is what you need to make to survive here – That’s the new number. I remember a few years back when it was in the $60K range. Now it’s $94K. That’s what a two-adult, two-kid household needs to make to consider themselves self-sufficient. Heck, that’s not even good money! That’s getting by! No doubt… it’s expensive to live here. We should be appreciative that we get to!
$72,633 is what people actually make – That’s kind of jarring. To be “self-sufficient,” you need to make $94K, but most people make less than that. The translation is… these people do without. They can never eat out. They have to skip extra-curriculars for their kids. They don’t have insurance. They have second and third jobs. They have outstanding bills. They don’t have any savings. And they make $72K a year! That’s mind-boggling. If you’re above this, you’re a lucky person.
Clark Co. is where people are going – This one surprised me the most. Not because Clark Co. isn’t a good place to live. It totally is! The Vancouver side of the river has made so many cool upgraded just in the time I’ve lived here! That new waterfront looks awesome. The downtown area is so welcoming and trendy. Housing is pretty affordable. There’s really not much need to come to Oregon, except to avoid sales tax! So I’m not surprised it’s on the up… but I didn’t realize how much! Clark Co. is seeing as much growth as Multnomah, Washington, & Clackamas Co. combined. That’s astounding. People are moving here, and they’re choosing Vancouver.
~Jake from 98.7 The Bull