okay, so, some of you are probably like, “big deal, portland is big because it’s got a lot of park space and it’s kinda rainy – how are those legitimate reasons to leave?”
allow me to assure you that i’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg here. above, we see another humongous factor in this decision: the staggering unemployment rate.
the bureau of labor statistics recently brought that estimate down to about 8%, but an article on the portland business journal website said there’s around 100,000 people looking for work in the area and that 4,200 jobs were lost in the month of march. unemployment statistics are already notorious for being bullshit, but this 8% figure seems especially spurious.
i’m not sure what this article defines as “the area,” but the city of portland is home to less than 600,000. take out about 25% of that to account for people who are either too young or too old to be working, and that leaves us with 450,000. so, even skewing things generously puts things at more like one in every five people are unemployed. this also does not factor in that there are droves of unemployed people decamping to the city from the east coast and other areas.
now, i’m no demographer and i certainly don’t claim that any of my estimates are based on anything more than my cynical view of reality and my continuing belief that we’re in, or about to be in, a depression (hey, paul krugman said it, not me). but i don’t trust this 8% unemployment BS one bit, especially considering that among my acquaintances, the chances of them being unemployed seem to be 1 in 2, or perhaps even 2 in 3. anyway, i like me a good, clear graphical representation of facts, and this here screenshot is yet another reason to try austin instead.
ps: more food for thought from the christian science monitor: “While the economy added 115,000 net jobs in April, some 350,000 Americans gave up looking for work. That has the effect of reducing the unemployment rate because, by the federal government’s calculation, those people no longer count as part of the labor force. As a result, the share of Americans who are part of the labor force – either working or actively looking for work – has reached a 30-year low.” womp-womp.