Slate writer Matt Yglesias was visiting Portland last week and kept hearing the same stale joke: "Portland is the place where young people go to retire."

Eventually, he figured out that the joke is from Portlandia. But then he decided to dig into the wonky economic graphs and see if the punchline is true.

The conclusion: Portland's economy was miserable back when the recession hit in 2008 and 2009, but it has rebounded quickly and our unemployment rate is actually slightly better than the rest of the country's. The city has lowered its unemployment rate more drastically than most of the country during the past three years. Good work, team.


He points to our high number of residents with college degrees as a big factor in the recovery:

What’s coming through today are strong underlying fundamentals. Über-hip Portland and its supersquare opposite, Washington, D.C., are probably doing well for the same underlying reason. Portland has an above-average share of college graduates and a below-average unemployment rate. The D.C., Boston, and Minneapolis areas have even more college graduates and even stronger local labor markets.

So, good news. I also love the correction at the bottom of Yglesias's article: He regretfully referred to food carts as "food trucks."