Data reveals downtown job and business growth

The 2012 Downtown Portland Business Census & Survey reveals increases in jobs, wages and wages and shows business owners feel downtown is very clean and safe.

Nov 14, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Clean & Safe District’s 2012 Business Census and Survey results, which were released today, show a positive upward trend in downtown Portland’s employment numbers as well as business growth in the retail and information sectors.  According to the census, downtown Portland added 1,964 employees and 316 businesses in the past year. Results from the annual Downtown Business Census & Survey also show that, for the twelfth year in a row, a large majority of downtown business owners feel that downtown is clean and safe.
“The job and business growth over the past year demonstrates that downtown Portland is an economic driver for the region,” said Peter Andrews, broker at Melvin Mark Companies and chair of the Downtown Clean & Safe District. “A strong region needs a strong downtown, and this upward trend is exactly what we need to maintain that strength.”
Other report findings include:
  • An upward trend in employment within retail and information sectors;
  • More than an 8 percent increase in the number of downtown businesses, with particularly strong growth in the  retail, information, finance and insurance sectors;
  • Continuing strong positive sentiment about safety with 96 percent of downtown workers believing that downtown is safe;
  • Nearly a $2,500 increase in the average wage over the past year, equating to a total of $340,000,000 additional yearly wages for downtown;
  • The impact of panhandlers and public inebriates continues to be the top factor that needs improvement; and
  • Data reveals that the health of downtown businesses is improving, nearing pre-recession levels.
The Downtown Clean & Safe District, funded by downtown property owners and managers in the 213-block district, conducts the Business Census & Survey each year, surveying employers within the I-405/I-5 loop.  The Clean & Safe District partners with the Portland Development Commission on the employment data piece and other survey data was collected using mailed questionnaires, personal follow-up and block-by-block canvassing to obtain a statistically significant survey sample of 20 percent. 
The survey data is gathered from October 2011 to October 2012. View the Downtown Business Census & Survey results.