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Our economy has undergone many changes as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Business owners and managers need to understand these changes as they react to new challenges in attracting and retaining employees. To help us track and understand these changes Oregon’s Employment Department has begun releasing figures defining the employment picture just prior to Covid, giving us a baseline to better evaluate how the workplace has changed and consider if policy changes might be entertained. In 2020, the latest year for which complete figures are available, the Department found that a large majority of Lake Oswego residents commute outside the City for work. Of the just over 16,000 working Lake Oswegans, more than 14,000 commuted. Just over 2,000 residents worked right here in town.

Not surprisingly, the majority of commuters head to Portland for work. About 6,300 residents – a 37.5 percent share of all working residents – head to the big City each day. Tigard and Beaverton are next – after folks that stay in town to work – with 983 and 948 commuters respectively. Tualatin, Hillsboro and Wilsonville round out the top 5 commuting destinations.

People who live in Lake Oswego and work here numbered 2,140 – or 12.7 percent of the total workforce. The two areas where new policy might be considered is how more jobs can be created that appeal to residents, and how the housing situation might be improved so that the people commuting to work in Lake Oswego might be able to live here if they wish. These two items are, of course, topics of discussion already at many levels of government across our State.

It’s also important to note that changes in employment revolving around the “work-from-home” movement have already happened. We’ll discuss updates to this movement in a future blog post.