Biggest Industries & Top Employers in Portland, Oregon

Welcome to Portland, Oregon! A beautiful city nestled between the Columbia and Willamette rivers. This eclectic urban center radiates with small-town charm and all of the beauty that comes from the Pacific North West.

Portland is home to many thriving industries that support Portland residents and their families. With the job market starting to heat up again and the city starting to come back to life, now is the perfect time to learn about the 5 major industries in Portland that you should be keeping an eye on.


Like most major metropolitan areas, the Portland Tech industry has been growing for years, and is projected to do so for the continued future. With over 1700 tech corporations registered in Portland, the industry is a great area to consider if you are thinking of switching industries or going to school.

The Oregon Institute of Technology is based in Portland and offers many programs such as Computer/Information Science and Technology. These growing programs, along with many others, would suitably prepare one for a career in the Portland tech sector.


With the highest concentration of athletic and outdoor apparel companies in the United States, Portland offers many opportunities for those in, or looking to get into, the apparel industry. Companies such as Nike, Under Armour, and Keen all call Portland home and offer many jobs for Portland residents.

Whether your background is business, design, or athletics, the outdoor apparel industry in Portland is a great place to look for your next job. Not to mention that these mega-corporations offer numerous warehouse sales to be enjoyed by those living in the greater Portland area.


With three out of the top ten employers on Portland (see below) in the Healthcare industry, the Portland Healthcare industry has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. With over 50,000 Portland residents already working in the Healthcare industry (as of 2017) the opportunities for jobs are ever-growing.

The healthcare sector isn’t just for doctors and nurses – administration, sanitation, and healthcare aid are all potential jobs to be found in the Portland Healthcare industry.

Commercial Shipping

Being only 70 miles from the Pacific Ocean, as well as being situated on two of the largest rivers in the west, the Portland Commercial Shipping Industry is a great sector to consider in the greater Portland area. Commercial shipping jobs in Portland can be found through mediums such as river barging, railroad transportation, ocean shipping, and air transportation. With over 190,000 jobs available in trade, transportation, and utilities in Portland, this is an incredible industry within metropolitan Portland.

Top Employers

The City of Portland reports the following to be the largest employers in the metropolitan Portland area: 

  • Intel Corporation: 14,890
  • Providence Health System: 13,496
  • Oregon Health and Science University: 11,400
  • Fred Meyer Stores: 10,500
  • Legacy Health System: 7,972
  • Kaiser Foundation: 6,731 
  • Safeway Inc.: 6,000
  • NIKE Inc.: 5,742
  • Albertson's Food Centers: 5,600
  • U.S. Bank: 4,138