Livability Indicators: Factors That Attract…
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Learn how the city of Portland Oregon is reaching a goal set in 2010 to attract talent:
New report details Portland’s creative workforce, quality of life
Published Date Wednesday, 31 July 2013 21:46
Written by Craig Lyons
In less than a decade, Portland’s number of creative professionals working in the city has increased 10 percent, according to a study released Wednesday, but there’s still work to be done.8-1-arts-creative-data
Creative Portland released a study, “Livability Indicators and Creative Workforce: How Portland Measures Up,” that noted the factors that attract a creative workforce to Portland, including cost of living, available jobs, safety, cultural activities and health. The study found that from 2002-2011 the number of creative professionals, which includes people who work in the arts, media, marketing, information technology and other fields, increased from 18,463 to 20,479.
Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland, said the group has known Portland is an attractive place for people to relocate, and members of the creative workforce are already coming to Portland.
“It does appear to be on the positive trend, which is good,” Hutchins said.
The study creates a baseline of information for Creative Portland to attract 10,000 creative professionals and entrepreneurs in 10 years, a goal set in 2010, by defining a creative workforce and the factors that give a city the quality of life those people seek. When the goal was first established, Hutchins said in order to get a sense of strategies to attract members of the creative workforce to Portland, there needed to be a baseline of information. She said the information in the report includes concrete data on the creative workforce and livability factors in Portland and other comparable cities.
Hutchins said people in the creative workforce primarily look for a high quality of life when it comes to relocating, and the study shows how Portland stacks up against Portsmouth, N.H.; Burlington, Vt.; Providence, R.I.; Boston; and Portland, Ore.
“We certainly believe that Portland is ripe for receiving this type of workforce,” she said.
The report highlighted that Portland’s areas of strength including a high percentage of people over the age of 24 with an advanced degree, the unemployment rate, the cost of living and commute time, according to the report.
One point the report highlights is the low number of people in creative occupations. The report said that in 2011 there were 20,479 creative occupation in Portland versus 52,945 in Cumberland County and 172,416 in Maine. As for comparable cities, the report said Boston had 174,954, Burlington had 10,882, Portland, Ore., had 147,543, Providence had 32,158 and Portsmouth had 12,655.
The report shows that the number of jobs in the creative economy are fewer in Portland than comparable cities, Hutchins said, but the city is starting on an upward trajectory. She said there’s fertile ground to build more jobs in the creative workforce in the city and move to the top of the list.
Hutchins said the report will give groups in Portland information that can help guide them in the right direction to improve the quality of life and attract more members of the creative workforce.
A study released last year found that arts-related nonprofits contributed nearly $50 million to Portland’s economy.
Creative Portland last June issued a study conducted by Americans for the Arts and the Ruth Lilly Fund for the Arts — titled “Arts and Economy Prosperity IV in Portland, Maine.”
The study looked only at arts and culture nonprofits and didn’t look at commercial enterprises.
The study found that nonprofit arts and culture created $49.2 million in economic activity in 2010 — $26.5 million was generated through arts and culture organizations and $22.6 million was created through event-related spending, according to the study. Arts and cultural activities in Portland generated $49.2 million, supported 1,535 full-time equivalent jobs and added $5.7 million in local and state government revenues, according to the report.
On a national level, the same study found that arts and cultural groups generated $135.2 billion in economic activity in 2010, according to a press release.