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The State of Oregon’s Employment Department provides regular updates on the health of Clackamas County’s and the Portland Metro Region’s economy. Recently, the Department reported on the growth of local “Gross Domestic Project” (GDP). GDP is a measure of the market value of final goods and services produced within a county area in a particular time period and adjusted for inflation. GDP is important because it gives information about the size of the economy and how an economy is performing.

It’s important to note that there is always a delay in the compiling of this kind of data, which typically runs 3-24 months behind “real time.” Nevertheless, it does allow us to spot potential trends, and to learn whether what we “felt” was happening in the economy was in fact happening.

The just-released report shows Clackamas County’s economy rebounding sharply from the Covid-19 Pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, GDP in the County fell 1.9% but then bounced back 6.3 percent between 2020 and 2021. The County fared somewhat better than Multnomah County, which showed a drop of 4.8 percent followed by a gain of 6.9 percent over the same two time periods. Washington County actually grew during the first period at 0.7 percent, but also grew more slowly than the other two counties in the second period by 4.2 percent. In 2021, Clackamas County’s GDP was about half that of Washington County and about one-third that of Multnomah County.

In other news, Clackamas County continued to add jobs, picking up an additional 1,000 in May 2023, which is 2,700 more than May, 2022. The County unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent. May’s results also brought the County’s job gains since the Pandemic low to 27,800.