State of Downtown & the Central City report released

This year's report dives deeper into the economy of the Central City and includes comparisons with our new peer regions who are also experiencing declining migration and facing similar Central City conditions based on foot traffic trends, mix of use and density. Portland’s Central City had a strong recovery in 2023 and we have now reached a stabilized new normal.

The State of Downtown & the Central City report expands on last year’s data and takes a deeper dive into Downtown Portland’s role in our regional and state economies. The Central City had a strong recovery in 2023, trailing only Seattle and Minneapolis. The pandemic has changed the role of downtowns across the U.S. with a higher reliance on residents and visitors than in years past. The report shows this is the “new normal” and ongoing recovery efforts must look beyond attracting office workers; Portland’s Central City needs more residents and visitors, both from tourists and those living in other parts of the region.

The State of the Economy report provides an in-depth analysis of the economic outlook in the Portland Metro area for 2023. This report sheds light on the impact of population loss on the region and state and introduces a new set of peer regions such as Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Sacramento to measure progress more effectively. Promising highlights include three out of the four metro counties surpassing their 2019 job totals, indicating a completed recovery from the pandemic and an opportunity for post-2023 growth. Additionally, the region’s GDP recovery is bolstered by the continuous growth of the technology sector. However, areas of concern remain, such as the lack of affordable housing, livability, and taxes, particularly concerning essential services like safety and the 911 system.

– View the reports –

These insightful reports were prepared in collaboration with the Portland Metro Chamber, with research by ECOnorthwest and presented by Downtown Portland Clean & Safe and Bank of America, alongside the Value of Jobs Coalition.