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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 12:48 PM
Original message
Have things improved economically?
I was living in Portland a couple years ago, working at a major manufacturer on a project basis. The timing was bad though(end of '08) and the projects ended and I had no work. I ended up coming back to the mid west, just to crash with my folks for a couple months before finding other work.

I recently got a contract offer with the same company in Portland for a year +. Basically it's indefinite, and I know several people that have been contract employees there for years. It's a decent offer, money wise and career wise.

I've heard things are going a lot better at the company now as well, but I don't want to move back again if things go sour. How are things in the region? Is Seattle in better shape now too? I'm an electrical engineer, so I figure there's work out there, but if I move this time to Portland, I want to be able to plant myself at least somewhere in the region (meaning somewhere in either Oregon or Washington).
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Rabblevox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't have any hard numbers for you, but my observations are...
It's still really bad here. More downtown business closed than I've seen in my life, more homeless than ever, and foreclosures still happening with scary regularity. A recent job fair was cancelled, because lack of jobs. There does seem to be more new large-scale construction than a few years ago, so it might not be that bad for an electrical engineer.

The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Portland the 2nd most miserable city in the country (based purely on economic, employment and cost factors), and Seattle ranked 3rd. Any recovery is taking it's good sweet time to make it to the northwest.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks a lot for the info
Edited on Sat Apr-02-11 04:15 PM by fujiyama
That was the impression I had. I really wanted to stay last time, and it's tiring having moved across the country several times over the last few years. It would be nice to be able to settle down some place...

I'll have to think long and hard about this decision, especially considering it's a contract job.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 05:52 PM
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3. Not in Central Oregon.
At least, not based on the continued dropping enrollments as families relocate after losing jobs and homes.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 02:31 AM
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4. Maybe
There are still a lot of houses up for grabs. 1/4 of the units where I live are empty, for instance, at the extreme low end of the price spectrum.

A fair number of businesses are going going gone.

At the same time, Ive seen some places growing like crazy, and they are still knocking down old retail buildings to build new ones, which seems counter intuitive to me. Ive personally had to hire people recently. And none of my cohort lost their teaching jobs as they thought they would.

I see a bit of upturn. But I am far from settled that its going to be fat times again soon. Were it me making your choice, I would be cautiously optimistic, as much as I am for anywhere in these United States. Unless you have something better going on there, why not take a job at decent pay?
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. rents are extraordinarily high, I think
considering the downturn and the overstock in empty housing, gotta wonder why rents are still going up up up. $1300 for a 900 sq ft plex is a lotta money.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. This happened in the bay area at the end of the dotcom meltdown too...

When you had the demand for high end housing dry up when companies were going bankrupt and people were getting laid off everywhere, you'd expect rents to go down, but instead they went up. The reason being was that many people who might have sold their houses to move up in to more expensive houses with a dotcom stock windfall had to stay in their houses instead. And then that just kind of went all the way down the ladder. And with more people staying in houses and some perhaps near the bottom selling off their houses and renting instead, the rental market really tightened up.

Rents were rising 40% at that time. I went through that with one landlord, moved out, and then after my six month lease expired, I was told they wanted to sell that house too and decided that was the time to leave the area then for SoCal.

You could be seeing similar things going on here if more people are leaving their bought houses for rental units, and no low end housing is being built.

Rent here for me is still 15% lower or so lower than what I paid in San Diego when I left there two years ago, when it was one of the more inflated housing markets before the crash.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. well, *some people* blame the high rents on the influx of Californians..
Edited on Wed May-11-11 11:44 AM by grasswire
..who fled their own state. And I suspect it's a true part of the picture. Oregon was skewed in ways that did not benefit many families.

And now Portland is a weird place where families are fleeing to the suburbs because the huge number of double income-no children professionals who live in the city won't support the public schools.

Not good unless you're a hipster with a very very safe job.
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