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Portland’s rising cost of construction

  • ​In October we put together a snapshot of the leading sectors pushing Portland’s employment growth. At the top of that list was the construction sector. Construction in commercial real estate is booming and employment in construction and extraction occupations increased by almost 5,000 people between 2015 and 2016, a growth rate of 11.2 percent.
  • With unemployment falling to historically low levels, currently 4.2 percent, the demand for workers is outpacing supply and construction costs increased significantly in 2016.
  • Rider Levett Bucknall’s Construction Cost Report for North America, now puts the range for prime office construction hard costs between $180 and $250 per square foot. That’s an 11.7 percent jump from 2015 to 2016, the largest jump the report has seen. In contrast, average prime office construction costs rose just 6.9 percent from 2009 to 2015. ​

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Rider Levett Bucknall, JLL Research​

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