Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Down on the Farm - 2012 Census of Agriculture for Oregon

Oregon's farm acreage totaled 16.3 million in 2012, with 35,439 farms and 59,237 farm operators. Of these, 39 percent were women farm operators. These results and more are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's report, 2012 Census of Agriculture

The purpose of the census of agriculture is to account for "any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year." Oregon agricultural product sales totaled $4.9 billion in 2012 and ranged from a high of $593 million in Marion County to $5.5 million in Lincoln County.

Crop sales in 2012 raised $3.2 billion or about 66 percent of Oregon's $4.9 billion agricultural product sales total (see graph below).

From much more on Oregon's agriculture industry, including farm production and value, livestock, and agricultural employment, read Dallas Fridley's full article: Down on the Farm - 2012 Census of Agriculture for Oregon

Monday, September 15, 2014

At Least Six Percent of Oregon Jobs Affected by Minimum Wage

This Wednesday, the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) will announce the minimum wage in Oregon for 2015. The state's minimum wage is linked to inflation, and has been set to $9.10 per hour since January 1, 2014. Oregon is one of 10 states that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation.

While we do not yet know what the new minimum wage will be, Unemployment Insurance wage records show that Oregon had roughly 103,400 jobs paying $9.10 per hour or less in the first quarter of 2014. This constitutes 6 percent of all jobs covered by Oregon's unemployment insurance, which would be affected by an increase in the minimum wage. 

Leisure and hospitality had the highest number of minimum wage jobs in the first quarter of 2014; one in five jobs in the industry (21% or 41,300) paid $9.10 or less. By numbers, retail trade followed with 20,700 minimum wage jobs, or 10 percent of all jobs in the industry. Natural resources and mining had the second-highest share of minimum wage jobs, with 15 percent at $9.10 or less (7,600 total).

Industries with the smallest shares of minimum wage jobs included: construction; manufacturing; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

For more information about Oregon's minimum wage, check out the 2014 minimum wage summary written by Nick, our state employment economist.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Biz News Around the State

Here's what's been in the headlines over the past week:

Openings and a relocation:
  • Oregon Kayak Man, a kayak rental and guide service, opened in Svenson. It offers tours throughout the north coast region. The Daily Astorian, 8/28/2014
  • Evo Clothing, a men's and women's clothing store, opened in Roseburg. The News-Review, 8/31/2014
  • Hillsboro Aviation is expanding its flight school in Prineville. It leased a larger hangar and anticipates strong growth in student enrollment. Central Oregonian, 8/29/2014
  • Wildflowers Nail Studio opened in Lakeview. Lake County Examiner, 8/27/2014
  • Uncorked Studios, a digital product agency in east Portland, plans to hire designers and Android, iOS, and web developers. Portland Business Journal, 9/8/2014
  • Myoptic Optometry Laurelhurst opened in southeast Portland. Neighborhood Notes, 9/2/2014
  • Killer Burger, a Portland-based hamburger chain, will open in Eugene later this year. The Register-Guard, 8/23/2014
  • Get Air Eugene, a trampoline park, will open in Eugene next month. It will employ 20 to 25 people. The Register-Guard, 8/22/2014
  • Alpenglow Café in Bend closed. The Bulletin, 9/5/2014
  • Sykes Enterprises Inc. will close its Milton-Freewater customer call center in December. Its 240 employees will be given the option of working from home. East Oregonian, 8/28/2014
  • Produce Row Café in southeast Portland closed. The Oregonian, 9/3/2014
For more business news, check out this week's full report or visit the Around the State page on

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oregon Size of Firm: A Snapshot

Nine out of 10 private-sector firms in Oregon had fewer than 20 employees in March 2014. Six out of 10 employed fewer than five workers.

Despite their quantity, smaller firms collectively account for a much smaller share of overall employment than their larger counterparts. For example, the 59 percent of firms with one to four employees represented nearly 8 percent of covered employment and 6 percent of wages in March 2014. On the other hand, the 0.3 percent of firms with at least 500 employees accounted for nearly 27 percent of private-sector jobs and 36 percent of wages.

These distributions tend to remain stable from one year to the next, even as the overall number of firms, employees, and wages expands or contracts. This doesn’t mean that smaller firms are underperforming when it comes to job creation, or that larger firms are experiencing a bonanza. Size of firm data does not provide us with information about the dynamics underlying employment changes. Instead, it offers a snapshot that can help us understand the roles of small and large firms in Oregon’s economy at a specific point in time.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oregon's Help Wanted Online Ads Rose by 4,800 in August

Hiring demand has shown renewed growth in Oregon and the U.S., as measured by the number of help wanted ads posted online. The increase of 4,800 ads in Oregon and 164,600 ads nationally in August followed a small dip in the number of ads in July. There are now more ads than at any other point during the past seven years. The high level of advertising by employers suggests continued job growth. 
Around Oregon, the number of ads is rising fast in Bend, Corvallis, and Eugene. Salem and Portland are still showing strong trends, and demand seems to be picking up in Medford.

This -- and more! -- information comes from our state employment economist, Nick Beleiciks. The full monthly Help Wanted Online (HWOL) summary can be found at  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Earnings by Education

Education pays. 

This phrase is used time and again among Oregon's workforce professionals. It's such a strong message that it has been the highlight of posters plastered on classroom walls, counselor's doors, and WorkSource Oregon offices all around the state. You can even order one of the Oregon Employment Department's Education Pays posters by going to our publication order form

While education is generally thought of as a means of finding a higher-paying job, it is striking to see just how correlated more education is with an increase in pay. The chart below is from national data on weekly earnings and education. A worker with a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $651 in 2013, while workers with a bachelor's degree had weekly median earnings of $1,108.

Notice also that those with less education are much more likely to be unemployed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oregon Job Gains by Wage Category

In 2013, all broad industries provided 2,655,139 jobs, a gain of 98,599 (3.9%) over the prior year.

The median hourly wage of jobs in all broad industries rose from $15.09 to $15.19 per hour in 2013 - a year-over-year increase of just less than 1 percent. All but one industry (wholesale trade) saw their median wages increase. Information continued to have the highest median hourly wage ($25.25), followed by state and local government and construction. Inflation-adjusted median hourly wages tell a different story. Only two industries - financial activities and professional and business services - enjoyed real wage increases in 2013. 

Twenty percent of all jobs in 2013 paid at least $30.00 per hour and more than one-third paid at least $20.00 per hour. About half of all jobs paid less than $15.00 per hour. All but the smallest hourly wage class posted job gains; the largest number of these were added to the $10.00 to $14.99 wage class. This is not surprising, given the concentration of job gains in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. 

Sitting at the figurative top of the array, the $60 or more class saw the highest percentage of jobs gained, for an increase of nearly 12,000 jobs. The $50.00 to $59.99 wage class also posted a significant percentage increase in number of jobs. Together, the two highest classes had year-over-year gains of 31 percent between 2012 and 2013. 
To see detailed annual tables, visit and go to the Wages and Income link to find the Quarterly Wage Tables, or read the full article on wage data, written by special projects analyst Barbara Peniston.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Caffeine Corners Around the State

This week's edition of Business News Around the State will bring smiles to the coffee and tea-loving crowd.
  • The Human Bean will open at the North Coast Retail Center in Warrenton. The Daily Astorian,8/14/2014
  • Anchor Brew Coffee Company opened in Seaside. It offers espresso, blended drinks, smoothies, and locally sourced food items. The Daily Astorian, 8/14/2014
  • Dobra Tea, a tea house, opened in Ashland. Ashland Daily Tidings, 8/20/2014
  • Kingdom Coffee and Anthem House, a coffee shop, will open in Klamath Falls. Herald and News,8/10/2014
  • Planet Cup of Joe, a drive-thru coffee stand, opened in Sandy. The Sandy Post, 8/6/2014
There were some other large announcements as well:
  • Marquis Companies opened an elderly care campus in Tualatin that will employ 150 people. Phase two of the development will add 14 cottage units, a wine bar, a pool, and a community center. Portland Business Journal, 8/18/2014
  • Albertina Kerr, a mental health nonprofit, will undergo a $6.5 million, multi-phase reconstruction ofits Gresham campus, which will provide mental health services for children from throughout Oregon. Portland Business Journal, 8/18/2014
  • Hop Valley Brewing Co. added four tanks at its Eugene brewing facility and plans to expand into new markets. It recently added 80 workers and plans to add four more in October. Portland Business Journal, 8/5/2014
  • Amy's Kitchen is undergoing a two-phase expansion at its plant in White City. Phase one involves reworking existing space to begin production of gluten-free burritos now done in Santa Rosa, Calif. Completion is set for the end of the year and it will add 80 jobs. The second phase will begin this fall and be completed in mid-2015, adding an additional 120 positions. Mail Tribune, 8/26/2014
You'll find all of the business news we compile from around the state at on the Around the State page!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gender Equity Scores by Occupation

Despite the shrinking gap in earnings between women and men, women still earn less than men, even when accounting for things like education. As it turns out, the gap varies substantially from occupation to occupation.

According to Bizwomen's database on gender equity scores, food prep workers had the most equitable occupation.  Also on this list were biological scientists and purchasing managers.

The full list and more details can be found in the Bizwomen write-up about the study.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Self-Driving Cars, Robots, and Jobs!

Tracking our Twitter feed today, I came across a handful of articles pertaining to driverless cars, automated work, and artificial intelligence. There are opinions on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to such issues. Here are a few sources for you to explore a bit.
'Robot Overlords' are the subject of Bloomberg's article on jobs and technological advancement. Are these robots going to steal jobs? According to the article, Professor David Autor of MIT says robots and computers won't take as many jobs as some people believe. He says "Challenges to substituting machines for workers in tasks requiring flexibility, judgement, and common sense remain immense."

On a similar note, a Brookings article emphasizes Americans' insecurity on the development of driverless cars. Many see potential benefits to letting go of the wheel. Among these benefits, almost 70 percent of Americans said driverless cars would reduce accidents, almost 50 percent said they would reduce traffic congestion, and about 70 percent believe they would improve fuel economy.

So, why were about two-thirds of Americans moderately or very concerned about using this technology? The biggest factor is concern about the legal and liability issues surround the vehicles. Sacrifice of control is also something many are reluctant about. Read more here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Education and Health-Related Businesses Around the State

It's almost back-to-school time, and there are a couple of new early education options out there!
  • Little Scholars Preschool & Enrichment Center opened in Grants Pass. Grants Pass Daily Courier, 8/17/2014
  • Powell Butte Community Preschool will open in Powell Butte this fall. Central Oregonian, 8/12/2014
There were also several health-related business announcements across Oregon:
  • Virginia Garcia Newberg Clinic, a low-income medical facility, opened in Newberg. The Newberg Graphic, 8/6/2014
  • Mudra Yoga Eugene will open in Eugene. Eugene Weekly, 7/24/2014
  • Portland-based Clinicient, a medical software company, hired five executives and plans to add another 20 workers by the end of the year. Portland Business Journal, 8/12/2014
  • Outreach Clinic, located at the St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Brookings, will close. Curry Coastal Pilot, 8/13/2014
  • Almond Aesthetic Medicine opened in Klamath Falls. It offers Botox treatments, dermal facial fillers, and laser procedures. Herald and News, 8/10/2014
For more of this week's Around the State Business News, visit the AtS page at!