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When it comes to Portland wages keeping pace with the nation, it's a case of running as fast as you can just to stay in place.
The state's economy has been booming by local standards for at least five years, with high-tech companies announcing plans for new plants so frequently that the news borders on the boring.
But when it comes to real income growth over the past eight years, the Portland area has actually lost ground when tracked against national trends. In 1984, local wage earners received $1,027 in pay for every $1,000 in per capita income nationally. For 1992, according to U.S. Census data, local paychecks were just $999 per $1,000.
Some experts refute the importance of rank on a national level due to narrow statistical margins.
"I wouldn't …