Portland claims title as nation's ninth-best economy

There are many different factors that contribute to the economic stability of a region - these can include the strength of local industry, unemployment, housing prices and more. According to the latest research from the Brookings Institution's Metro Monitor, Portland ranked as the metro with the ninth-best economy in the nation.

The Portland Business Journal reports that the standings were based on economic outlook, unemployment rates, housing prices and locally-generated gross domestic product counts. The metro's GDP output increased by 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012 and has risen an outstanding 20.6 percent since 2004. Industries such as tech, shipping and aeronautics are thriving and posting market success with increases in profits and strides toward developing future products.

Here's a look at the other qualities that have made Portland the ninth-best metro economy in the United States.

Housing market is improving
The median price for a single-family home on September 14, 2012 was $290,194 in Portland - up from two weeks ago when the price held at approximately $276,000. Houses for sale in Portland are listed at higher cost than in other parts of the nation because of the positive gains the local economy has been posting. According to ALTOS Research, the median price paid per square foot for a property in Portland on September 14, 2012 was about $145.

Despite the rising prices attributed to homes in the metro, the time it takes for a potential homebuyer to close a purchase for the average property is still slightly high at 146 days.

Employment rates are up
According to the United States Department of Labor, the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area had a civilian labor force of 1,197,300 in July 2012 - slightly down from the 1,202,800 posted for the previous month of June. However, despite the decrease in workforce, the unemployment rate did not change from June to July 2012 and remained at 8.2 percent.

Industries that support the majority of civilians in Portland include trade, transportation and utilities, which employed 195,500 people in July 2012 - a 1.5 percent increase from the same time last year. About 138,700 people worked in the education and health services industry in July 2012 - a 1 percent rise in comparison to July 2011.

As the local economy in Portland continues to improve, more industries will post greater fiscal gains, which could result in an increase in available job opportunities for those looking to move into the area.