Tech job growth ‘great thing’ for Portland

Tech employment has reportedly reached 12-year high

State workforce analyst Christian Kaylor says tech employment has reached a 12-year high. March 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Many tech companies are flocking to the Portland area to build their headquarters, and KOIN 6 News has learned with this development comes an abundance of new jobs.

With a brand new building in the heart of the Rose City, things are looking up for Jama Software.

“Being downtown, there is a vibrancy to it,” Jama Software CEO Eric Winquist told KOIN 6 News. “We’ve been growing really quickly over the last couple of years.”

Jama Software has a brand new building in downtown Portland. (KOIN 6 News)
Jama Software has a brand new building in downtown Portland. (KOIN 6 News)

On Monday, the tech company announced they raised an additional $20 million, and will be hiring 50 more employees in the next year.

“We’re going to add a tremendous amount of folks into the company,” Winquist said.

KOIN 6 News learned, Jama Software isn’t alone — Wacom is building a Pearl District headquarters and will double their staff to 300 people in the next five years.

“It’s great,” state workforce analyst Christian Kaylor said. “There are only half a dozen, maybe a dozen, places in the United States that have a large enough tech center to really pull off that clustering of businesses.”

According to Kaylor, tech employment has reached a 12-year high, and in software and tech manufacturing alone, the Portland region employs 55,000 people who make an average wage of $110,000 a year.

“We’ve seen the software side of hi-tech grow almost 50% just in the last 10 years,” Kaylor said. “I would argue this is the fastest growing, highest paid industry in the Portland metro region.”

With the growth of tech companies in the Rose City comes a big boost to the local economy, and a solid outlook for the near future.

“We got our start here, we’ve been growing here, we’re going to stay here,” Winquist said.

Kaylor said Portland does a great job attracting young adults with college degrees, and while he points out no trend lasts forever, the current growth is a great thing for the city.

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