Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Portland Metro Metals Industry

Metals manufacturing is one of Portland’s major, and oldest, industrial clusters. More than 600 companies employ 18,800 workers manufacturing products from rebar to engine parts, streetcars to pocket knives.

The metals cluster is comprised of two components: primary and fabricated metals manufacturing. Companies in the former essentially create metal from ore or scrap that is transformed by the latter into intermediate or end products such as sheet metal, bolts, and hinges or, in the case of Portland, chainsaws, bridges, and knives. The fabricated metals component dominates employment and recent job growth in this cluster. 

After being hit harder than most of the region’s other industries during the Great Recession, metals has waged a strong comeback that outpaced the overall economy and shows little sign of letting up. Since bottoming out in early 2010, local firms have created 3,400 jobs; a growth rate of 21 percent. Nationally, this sector has grown more slowly (15%).

Wages in the area’s metals industry are nearly 20 percent higher than average; $52,744 (2012) compared with $44,254 for all private-sector industries. The primary metals component ($68,610) pays more than fabricated metals ($44,960), and also more than its national counterpart ($61,616).

For a more detailed look at Portland's metals industry, read Amy Vander Vliet's full article: Portland Metro Metals Industry.

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