There was a time when Portland was continually on lists. Best place to live. Most bikeable. Fastest growing. New tech hubs. But despite those perceptions, we’re not seeing the growth in the tech sector we had foretold. According to the Brookings, cities like Phoenix, Charlotte, Madison, and Provo are attracting more tech talent than Portland.
The rest of the country also misses out on the economic windfall created by these companies. That includes not only the high-paying jobs at those companies but also spending from those new workers, as well as the secondary benefits of industries and public works catered to them.
“Most of the country is not truly getting the economic lift that they might if this were a better-distributed industry,” Muro told Recode. “Relatively few Americans are able to plug into the most dynamic industry of our time.”
I share this as neither a positive nor a negative. It’s simply a metric that I found interesting. As well as to highlight the fact that Portland is beginning to fall into some mediocre middle as far as the public perception and analysis of tech communities go.
That said, moving away from that sort of one-trick-pony homogeneity could be our key to sustainability.