In Portland, we've been battered with tales about our downed economy for years.
On message boards, locals ceaselessly warn prospective Portlanders from moving to town unless they have a job lined up (good advice—trust me—but certainly not mandatory). The rapidly tiring joke the city's a place where young people go to retire, it turns out, is borne of the city's chronic underemployment. Even the state's much-improved employment numbers, we're told, are partly due to the fact some people have simply given up looking for work.
But those improved employment figures are real, nonetheless, though not something every unemployed person in the city is going to feel. It's still tough out there for a lot of qualified and smart Portlanders I know, but things are getting better. All of which is a long way of pointing you to this piece that ran on The Atlantic's website last week (yup, I linked it in Good Morning, News, too). Rather than an overly dour outlook on the city's economy, it's fairly ecstatic (and also weirdly preoccupied with calling us "weird and crunchy").
Yet Portland is also one of America's most export-oriented and globally integrated economies. Over 18 percent of its metropolitan gross product comes from exports, the third-highest export intensity in the United States among the top 100 metros and the second-fastest-growing export market among the major metros.
It goes on to laud former Mayor Sam Adams for his work to increase Portland-area exports and positioning the city as a leader in green technology, favorably comparing us to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Curitiba and Singapore.
Anyway, in case you wanted another take on our city's economic straits.