Monday, January 28, 2013

Diversity of Businesses Near I-5 Exits

An article from the Statesman Journal reports on the increasing diversity of businesses near I-5 exits. The piece reflects on what we often envision when we think of freeway exits: gas stations, fast food restaurants, and hotels. There's a lot more to the story though. Oregon Employment Department Regional Economist Amy Vander Vliet conducted a detailed analysis of the more than 5,800 private-sector business establishments located along the state's I-5 corridor.

Private-sector establishments located within one-quarter mile of the 134 exits along the Oregon portion of I-5 provided 97,000 jobs in 2011, or 7.2 percent of the state's total private-sector covered employment. Retail trade and leisure and hospitality account for one out of every three jobs in the I-5 corridor. As expected, these two broad industries are also more concentrated along I-5 compared with the rest of the state. Other industries were a bit more surprising: administrative support services made up 6.9 percent of I-5 jobs, followed by ambulatory and health care services (e.g., doctors' offices, dentists, optometrists). 

There are also a relatively large number of professional services establishments close to I-5; nearly 700 companies, or 11.5 percent of I-5 firms. While you might not consider this type of business when you think of freeway exits, many office parks have been built right off the interstate, especially in suburban Portland. The desire for more space, commuting convenience, and ample parking has prompted many companies to locate outside the city yet still close to the interstate.
You can read more about employment near I-5 exits from the Statesman Journal, or in the full, original article.

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