Monday, April 27, 2009

Portland Metro Area Focuses on Longer-Term Training While Economy Recovers

According to a forecast from Moody' published on, the Portland metro region may start to see some appreciable job growth again by the third quarter of 2010. This is consistent with the forecast from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

However, 2009 is predicted to stay in the red.

This year, the Portland metro area will likely see a 4.1% drop in jobs averaged over all of the industry sectors. The financial and construction sectors will show the greatest declines at around 9.5% followed by Manufacturing, Retail, Professional/Business Services, and Wholesale Trade - all predicted to decline by around 6%.

The first two quarters of 2010 will show some weak growth with things picking up by the latter half of the year.

With recovery likely over a year away, what can we do in the meantime? We believe this is a great time to focus on longer-term training that increases the skills of our residents to make sure everyone is ready for job opportunities. The region's public workforce system, WorkSource Portland Metro, is estimated to serve nearly 130,000 adults this year. Of those, it is predicted that over a third (45,000) will read at or below the 6th grade level. It is essential that we use this time to reduce the skill gap and help people get on career paths that lead to true self sufficiency.

So while the workforce blogging community (including Bronwyn at Workforce Developments ) continues to monitor the latest trends and forecasts, we should all stay focused on skilling the workforce to be ready for the jobs - whenever they come.

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