Portland Office Report – Spring 2019
- Aug 21, 2019
The metro’s economy remains strong, bolstered by growing interest from tech companies and an influx of highly educated Millennials— despite a marked slowdown in population gains compared to the 2016 high point of 1.8 percent. Oregon’s new rent control regulation is likely to hinder in-migration levels in the metro in the coming quarters.
Portland has seen healthy gains in multiple employment sectors over the 12 months ending in March. A total of 21,800 jobs were added during this interval, with the most gains coming from the education and health services (6,100) and manufacturing (4,500) sectors. Office-using jobs accounted for 23.1 percent of the metro’s total employment pool, well above the national average of 21.5 percent. Professional and business services remains one of the top employment sectors in Portland (with 15.1% of the job pool), despite a slight decrease of 70 basis points year-over-year. Meanwhile, job gains in the information and financial activities sectors continue to lag, accounting for as little as 2.1 percent of the metro’s total workforce. Beginning July 1, the metro’s minimum wage is set to increase by 4.2 percent to $12.50 per hour.
Construction activity is moderate, with only 454,000 square feet scheduled for delivery by year-end. This accounts for a 68.5 percent decrease from last year’s record completion levels (1.4 million square feet). Portland’s office vacancy rate of 12.3 percent at the end of April is likely to contract in the coming quarters, as demand for quality office space continues to grow amid limited availability.