Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Economic geography, Portland (Or.) -- Economic conditions, Cultural industries -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area


While the American economy has been characterized by increasing labor-market polarization over the past decade, recent growth in mid-wage, mid-skill jobs holds promise for workers looking for an opportunity to earn a self-sufficient wage.

By July of this year, the economy had added over 900,000 middle-income positions, matching the pace of growth in high-wage fi elds, and outpacing growth in low-wage occupations. Many of these mid-wage and mid-skill jobs can be found in healthcare, production, and the skilled trades, specifi cally construction and extraction, and installation, maintenance, and repair.

Many of these jobs off er an opportunity to earn higher wages than low-skill jobs but don’t require a significant investment in education. Some might require a post-secondary credential or an associate degree, but many require only a high school diploma. These jobs can therefore off er a path to self-sufficiency that may be overlooked by some workers, particularly people of color and English language learners (ELL) who may face barriers to formal higher education.

The purpose of this report is to investigate the extent to which these occupations might off er opportunity for people of color and English language learners.


This report was produced for Partners in Diversity

Persistent Identifier

Workforce_Appendices_I-IV_FINAL.pdf (9600 kB)

Workforce_Diversity_Brief_Final.pdf (729 kB)
A two-page briefing paper summarizing the report