View the full article: http://www.oregonlive.com/money/index.ssf/2012/09/young_people_come_to_portland.html
The Associated Press
WorkSource Oregon's Sun Gaddis, left, helps job seeker Kaston Joshua, center, while friend Rudy Martin looks on at the organization's Tualatin office.
Believe it or not, Portland isn't the place young people go to retire. The city just has a knack for attracting them.
A new Portland State University study examined the flow of young college-educated workers into the metro area. Despite a consistently tough jobs market, the region continues to draw the under-40 set -- and keeps them here.
That's despite the lack of any significant effort to build the talent base or invest in higher education, said urban planning professor Greg Schrock, who co-authored the study.
"If it weren't for people moving here, we'd be in a whole lot of hurt economically," he said.
The study analyzed census figures from 2000 and data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey from 2005-07 and 2008-10.
The findings suggest people are committed to living in Portland, Shrock said. In many cases, workers make some kind of a sacrifice to live here, particularly in pay. Wages for the young and educated – $42,659 in 2008-10 – ranked 42nd among the 50 metro areas studied in the report.
They find other ways to get by. Compared to peers elsewhere, Portland's 40-and-under workers have high rates of self-employment and part-time jobs. One-fifth worked 35 hours a week or fewer, the highest share in the U.S. Nine percent were self-employed, ranking No. 3 among metro areas. And an estimated 34.8 percent of young workers with a college degree held jobs that didn't require it.
Still, they're overwhelmingly willing to work. Almost nine out of 10 were working or looking for a job in 2008-10, just above the U.S. average for metro areas, according to the study.
That number by itself puts the "Portlandia" satirical claim to rest, said Joe Cortright, an economist who studies Portland's "brain gain." He reviewed the PSU report before its release this week.
"If people were here to retire, if they were not working, if they were slackers or trust fund babies, that would show up in that number," Cortright said. The influx of educated young people is a huge asset as the economy recovers, he said.
Shrock said the pool of talented workers could help public officials recruit businesses.
He and Jason Jurjevich, of PSU's Population Research Center will present their findings this morning during a PSU event.