Oregonians also work for employers in other states. More than 45,000 people live in Oregon, but work out of state. The net "inflow" of nearly 47,000 workers to Oregon influences the economy in a variety of ways. This article focuses on where out-of-state workers live, their contribution to Oregon's General Fund, and their effect on Oregon's per capita personal income.
Two-thirds of out-of-state workers are Washington residents who work in the Portland tri-county area (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties). Although the number of these workers grew last decade from 54,739 in 2002 to 60,669 in 2010, the number peaked at 61,042 in 2007 and their share of out-of-state workers peaked at 76 percent in 2005. Washington is still responsible for providing most of Oregon's out-of-state workers, but the number of workers from Washington holding jobs outside the Portland area grew from 9,276 in 2002 to 14,485 in 2010.
The fact that people live in neighboring states and work in Oregon isn't surprising. But what about workers living in Texas, New York, Florida, and other far away states? Their numbers more than tripled between 2002 and 2010, but they're not likely crossing the Snake River on I-84 each morning to get to work. Out-of-state workers may live in both states but maintain their primary residence outside Oregon, or were working in Oregon on temporary assignment, or they may have moved during the year and their residency status wasn't updated yet. Residency of out-of-state workers is assigned by the U.S. Census Bureau based on data from federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, so basically where the worker files their taxes is considered home.
One explanation for the growing number of out-of-state workers is the rise in teleworking - regular employees working outside the conventional workplace and interacting with others via communication technologies. According to a national report from The Conference Board, more than 2 percent of full-time employees worked primarily from home in 2010, double the share that worked from home in 2000. There's a good chance that teleworkers are driving the increase in Oregon's out-of-state workers.
|Where Oregon Workers Live by State, 2010|
|State of Residency||Number of Workers||Share of Oregon Workers||
|All Other Locations||3,366||0.2%||3.7%|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau, OnTheMap|
The Oregon personal income tax liability of Washington residents was $201 million in 2010, with nearly two-thirds coming from Clark County residents. In fact, Clark County would rank eighth among Oregon counties for Oregon personal income liability (if it were in Oregon). The Oregon personal income tax liability of Californians was $30 million, Idaho residents were responsible for $17 million, and $88 million came from residents in other areas outside Oregon.
With a net $2.3 billion in earnings by the inflow of out-of-state workers in 2010, Oregon had the sixth largest net adjustment for residency of any state in the BEA's calculation of PCPI. That's an average of over $25,000 per out-of-state worker that is not counted as personal income in Oregon. The large adjustment is a function of Oregon's major employment center - Portland, with about half of the state's jobs - being right on the border with Washington. The adjustment does not directly affect the wellbeing of Oregonians, but it does directly lower Oregon's estimated PCPI. If Oregon had no net inflow of workers in 2010, Oregon's PCPI would have been about $600 higher and would have stood at 91.8 percent relative to the nation's PCPI, instead of 90.2 percent. In other words, out-of-state workers account for roughly one-sixth of the gap between Oregon's PCPI and the nation's.
To explore and use the data available from OnTheMap, visit  http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/.