Multnomah County alone has created more new “professional and technical service” jobs in the last three years than the Columbia River Crossing was projected to create throughout the region, in all sectors combined, by 2030.
It’s a fact that was underscored Friday by Mayor Charlie Hales’ announcement that San Francisco-based startup Airbnb will move 160 employees and its North American operational headquarters to Portland’s Old Town area.
That was the latest sign that Portland’s tech sector is in the middle of an historic boom — and a stark contrast with the freeway-rail project, once called essential to the region’s economy, that seems to have been killed by the state legislature one week ago.
According to the Columbia River Crossing project team’s own calculations, the long-term economic impact of increasing the capacity of Interstate 5 would be to create 3,441 more jobs around the region by 2030. That’d be about 0.15 percent of the region’s future workforce.