There’s an old theory about early human migration into the Americas. Back during the ice age, shallower waters gave rise to a land bridge connecting the Northwestern Americas to Northeastern Asia.
It was cold, it was hard. And yet people came — and why? Because they followed the big game. Hunters went where their quarry went. And so it is in the modern era when workers hunt for jobs. Today’s “hunters” have their own version of the mastodon and other megafauna those early folks chased after: In a word, jobs. We follow the jobs and go where the jobs are. As it has been forever all over the world, so it is in Portland.
That leads to another question: What types of jobs keep people moving to the area? To be sure, there are quite a few sectors with burgeoning opportunities in the Rose City. The progress the local economy had made over the recent decades of investment and revitalization has been nothing short of remarkable. In these times, however, there are three sectors that stand out when it comes to the Portland jobs market. Big tech is one, as is health care, both of which have deep successful roots in the city. And then there are less obvious sports jobs. If you’re in any of those fields, read on and learn why Stumptown should be your next stop!
Like Silicon Valley and Seattle, there’s been quite the boom in the tech sector of Portland’s overall jobs market. There are a few reasons why, First and foremost, local talent has been cultivated via education initiatives in STEM in the last couple of decades. The applicant pool started off as homegrown with universities and other institutions pouring resources into their development. Big tech investors paid attention and slowly started bringing their capital with them. Software companies have been popping up, leading to thousands of positions opening up in dozens of companies. Names like Intel and Tektronix lead the pack of software and IT companies that have transformed the tech landscape here.
With that local foundation set, Portland has become a talent and capital magnet for even more investment and expansion. Once workers and corporations settle here, the very livability of the city only makes the desire to move here all the greater. The outdoorsy, bike-friendly vibe is a huge perk for folks sitting in front of computers all day long. And it doesn’t hurt to have great cultural diversion like a hot and happening music scene, a serious foodie craze and all those craft breweries and wineries. It all creates perfect synergy for drawing big tech here — and keeping it here.
To Your Health
The health care sector in Portland is huge — as in really, really huge! Well over 100,000 people are estimated to be employed in the area’s hospitals, medical facilities and more, making up a huge percentage of the overall jobs market, as much as 30 percent. Revenues are topping two billion dollars per year. It’s a stunning growth level that only increases year to year. If this seems counterintuitive that a city with such a famously healthy lifestyle has need for so much care, we wouldn’t blame you. But it’s not that Portland has more sick people than other places.
Instead, what we are seeing is growth in other areas of the health care sector: biotech and research. Investment in local curricula putting an emphasis in education and training in these fields has paid off with a surge of innovation. This draws more medical talent in the way of doctors and researchers, as well as attracting out-of-towner patients seeking specialized care in state-of-the-art facilities. It’s no accident that Portland has become a health care hub, and the advances being made here are helping the wellness of people far beyond the city limits.
While diehard Trail Blazers fans will tell you otherwise, Portland is not the first city people think of when it comes to sports. Local crowds swoon to the NBA and MLS teams in town, but there’s no major league baseball, hockey or football teams local to the Rose City. But when it comes to sports apparel, it’s another story. Brands like Nike, Adidas and Columbia Sportswear all make their home here. Talent in the industry flock here to work, bolstered by those and other huge names. And it’s not just manufacturing but marketing too. So say it loud when it comes to the jobs market here: Go Team Portland!