Portland economist: Wage growth up, but housing costs too

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After years of blistering hot growth, the Portland economy is starting to cool, according to the Northwest Economic Research Center at Portland State University.

“We’re entering a period of slow job growth and slower population growth,” Director Tom Potiowski told KOIN 6 News.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, he says. Portland has been at full employment for a while, and this is the natural progression of the business cycle.

“I think the trends we’re seeing are going to help,” Potiowski said.

Director Tom Potiowski. (KOIN)

While Portland still has a problem with affordability, Potiowski said the problem is starting to narrow.

“Portland used to be number one or number two metro place in the country for price rising of homes, and now we’re kind of in the middle of the pack,” he said.

Pair that with a sharper growth in wages and the window between how much the average person is making and how much the average person is paying is closing.

“It’s still there, this hasn’t gone away, but it’s not progressively getting worse.”

Potiowski said the main takeaway for the Portland metro area is that it is still very strong economically with no sign of recession in sight.

“The security of the economy, for your jobs and so on, are pretty much there,” he said.

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