Recent Trends in Portland’s High-Tech Sector

by Brandon Schrader

October 12, 2020

From the computers we use to the software that makes virtual meetings possible, high-tech businesses are playing a vital role in the modern economy. COVID-19 has further amplified the demand for their services as more than 25 percent of Oregon workers were telecommuting in August 2020 according to the Office of Economic Analysis. The Portland Tri-County Area is a hub for high-tech businesses and, unlike most of the state, it’s still in Phase One of reopening. If you’re wondering, “what is high tech?” I’d highly recommend reading this article which takes an in-depth look at the sector.

High-Tech Industries Remain Resilient in 2020

While no sector came out of early 2020 unscathed, high-tech firms appear to be holding onto jobs when compared with total nonfarm employment. For Portland, total nonfarm employment declined by more than 13 percent from February to April 2020 which represents 160,200 jobs. Major job losses occurred for high-tech sectors a little later in the year. From February 2020 to May 2020, high-tech firms lost 3,500 jobs or about 5 percent of all high-tech employment. Portland’s high-tech sector includes semiconductors and electronic components manufacturing, software publishers, architectural and engineering services, as well as computer systems design and related services.

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