Jobs in Bend are part of a unique business community that is very collaborative in nature. Whereas competition rules in other places, our businesses embrace working together and sharing ideas for the common good of a healthy business community and the community at large.
As the economic hub east of the Cascades, Bend employment opportunities are very important to Central Oregon in terms of growth and per capita GDP (gross domestic product). In 2017, the last time it was measured, per capita GDP for the Bend Metro Area was $46,982. That’s second only to Portland in the State of Oregon, which was $63,817. The Bend Metro Area is the economic engine of Central Oregon.
Driving this engine is a diverse set of industries contributing to the economy. Up until just a few years ago, jobs in Bend were one dimensional in their industry make-up. It was a logging town where timber was king until the 1970s when that industry declined and was replaced by tourism. Business services such as law firms, doctors and dentist offices, architecture firms, accounting firms, etc., have now taken over as the top industry in Bend for jobs, supplanting tourism and hospitality. This diversification helps in job creation and also resiliency when it comes to an economic downturn. That’s a good thing for all Bendites.
A high entrepreneurial spirit is pervasive throughout Bend. In fact, in 2018 there was one new business registration for every 26 residents. That’s the most registrations per capita of any medium-sized city in Oregon. By contrast, Portland, with the state’s largest population, only registered one business for every 37 residents. Entrepreneurs registered 3,530 new businesses in Bend in 2018. That’s an 8% increase over 2017. It’s also more businesses registered than any other city in Oregon. Yes, entrepreneurism is alive and well in the Bend Metro Area. Will you be a part of it?