The State of Oregon Employment Department has released final 2018 payroll wage and salary data, and it’s good news for both value-add apartment investors and new construction developers.

Christian Kaylor, an economist with the State of Oregon, reported that total payroll surged by 6.8% in 2018, the largest annual increase since 2006. His possible explanation for this paradox: in a tight labor market with an unemployment rate below 4%, employers are having trouble finding workers. In order to keep existing workers from leaving for better paying jobs elsewhere, employers are raising wages to encourage workers to stick around. It’s also possible that employers are giving workers more hours. Again, in a tight labor market it’s tough to find new workers and it may be easier for employers to pay overtime to the existing workforce.

Multnomah County is specifically strong in a particular industry sector: Professional & Technical Services. This includes law firms, accounting firms, engineering firms, computer systems design and various consulting firms. These companies tend to pay large salaries, hire mostly professionals with college degrees and their natural habitat is in office buildings in downtown Portland. For 2018 the average wage in this sector was $92,041.

The affluent “renter-by-choice” demographic continues to push housing demand in Portland metro, creating opportunity for new and existing multifamily real estate owners. For information on apartment investment opportunities in the Portland area, contact IMG Northwest at (971) 888-4010.

View/download the full State of Oregon Employment Department Economic Indicators Report – April 2019


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