Imagine an industry that's fast-growing, isn't impacted by recession, and pays high wages...
That's how an article from The Oregonian describes Oregon's startups. The state's startup community is reported to be having its best run since the dot-com era. These companies are attracting investors and some big-name buyers.
According to the Employment Department's regional economist in Portland, Amy Vander Vliet, software jobs are the largest single category among Oregon startups. While the rest of the state has struggled with recession and a modest recovery, job growth at startups barely missed a beat. The number of startups has grown more than twice as fast as the overall economy.
Sound too good to be true? Well, there is one small thing: the industry itself.
There are about 3,600 jobs at venture-backed startups, which makes up less than one-half of 1 percent of all private employment in Oregon. The big growth rates look impressive, but Oregon startups added fewer than 200 net jobs in 2011. The Oregonian notes that the small job and growth numbers are partly due to the way business has changed. "What used to require armies of software engineers can now be done in a day, with freely available open-source tools."