As the Portland region goes, so goes the State in many ways. The Portland region had almost eight percent fewer jobs in September than we did for the same month in 2019. Among the 50 largest US Metro regions, that places Portland as relatively harder hit, with only 11 other regions showing larger decreases. It’s possible that the toxic levels of smoke in Oregon in September played a role during that time.
Portland, like the rest of the United States, suffered a dramatic decline in employment in March and April. In relative terms, Portland tracked the U.S. employment trends quite closely until about June. Since July, Portland’s job growth has been noticeably slower than the U.S. as a whole. For September the 1,500 new jobs represents an annualized job growth rate of just 1.6 percent.
Portland interesting is enjoying one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the United States at just 3.7 percent for the third quarter of 2020. This is a significant decline from the 5.6 percent vacancy in the third quarter of 2019. Tech hubs like Seattle and San Jose are also seeing nationally low vacancy rates below where they were in 2019. San Francisco is bucking that trend with rising vacancy rates due to their stricter lockdowns on social activity.
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