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Think Out Loud

Wage Woes

Pete Springer/OPB

A new report sponsored by local business associations shows income for Portland residents is lagging behind other cities in the western states. The report was timed to come out in the same week as the Oregon Business Summit, where business and political leaders discussed plans to raise per capita incomes statewide above the national average by 2020.

The Oregon Business Plan provided the main fodder for discussion at the summit. Since 2002, this almost annual report has laid out a framework for business associations to coordinate their longterm visions, but this year’s plan sounds more urgent than those in the past. It starts with the bold sentence, “Oregon stands at an economic crossroads,” and goes on to say that the state economy is in a downward spiral that “threatens the quality of life that we cherish in Oregon.” The plan hammers home the connection between private sector jobs and public services, like education, in a state that’s heavily dependent on income taxes.

Did you move here from another state where your income was different? How does your salary compare to people in your industry who live elsewhere? Is there something about living in Oregon that makes up for a lower salary?


  • Sandra McDonough: President and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance
  • John Tapogna: President of ECONorthwest
  • Arnie Roblan: Oregon state representative representing district 9 and designated Democratic Speaker of the Oregon House for the 2011 legislative session
  • Bruce Hanna: Oregon state representative representing district 7 and designated Republican Speaker of the Oregon House for the 2011 legislative session
  • Duncan Wyse: President of the Oregon Business Council
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