Construction Leads Industry Employment Growth in Washington County

Construction Leads Industry Employment Growth in Washington County

by Emily Starbuck

October 18, 2016

Construction is the fastest growing industry in Washington County and the Portland metro area, with 1,800 jobs added in the county since August 2015, for a total employment of 15,600. Washington County holds nearly one-quarter of all construction jobs in the Portland metro area, making it the second largest county of employment in this industry statewide behind Multnomah County.

The last recession hit the construction industry hard, and employment dropped from a peak of 16,400 jobs in August 2007 to a low of 9,600 jobs in February 2010. Recovery had been sluggish until early 2016, when year-over-year employment growth jumped into the double digits. However, construction employment is still 800 jobs shy of its pre-recession peak. Construction employment is expected to continue growing faster than average, with a projected growth rate of 23 percent for Multnomah and Washington counties from 2014 to 2024, compared with the average 14 percent overall growth rate in the region.