Economic Analyst Bill Watkins told a group of 300 in Bend that he is very concerned about the first significant out migration in the last couple of decades. Nancy Lynche owns Bend Storage and Transfer and says more people are leaving town: “Probably 90% moving out. And it’s mainly, if they’re in the workforce, they’re going to where they can, first of all get a job.” Lynch says working families are heading to Texas and North Dakota because that is where the jobs are.
The observations are anecdotal and others have the exact opposition impression of the Bend migration story. The narratives are compatible. Lots of people are leaving with a substantial number moving into town. We exclusively focus on outmigration, missing half of the story.