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Portland’s Construction Industry Continues to See Gains

Navigating around the Portland Metro area has become a choreographed dance between construction sites. In some cases it is the streets being adjusted to accommodate repairs or utility lines, while in others it is new buildings being constructed, both commercial and residential. The good news? Portland’s construction industry is healthy, and continues to see gains as the years progress.

In fact, the Portland Metro Area construction industry saw a record high employment rate in 2018, increasing 7.4% over the 2017 employment rate. This feeds into a growth of 17.24% over the last decade, and this isn’t the end. Construction jobs in Oregon have been projected to grow another 9% over the next decade as well.

What could potentially throw a wrench in this growth? Well, according to a survey of commercial contractors on The List, they most worry about the recruiting and retaining of skilled labor. This response, by far, was the highest area of concern at 30% with the finding and retaining of subcontractors coming in second at 19.2%. Surprisingly, economic downturn was not high on this list, with only 4.2% believing it to be the most important issue facing the construction industry.

Despite these concerns, employment continues to rise in the industry, as well as wages.  Annual wages for the average Portland Metro Area Construction worker rose 4.4% this last year, the third year in a row it has risen. Though a slow climb, wages have increased over the last ten years by 31.7. With steady numbers, it is safe to say that we will continue to see more opportunities for construction workers in the Portland Metro Area.

Out of all the construction you see as you make your daily drive, which is the most noteworthy? The addition of more multi-unit/multi-family housing options, or commercial additions? What kind of construction do you wish there was more or less of?


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