Friday, December 2, 2016

Multimedia Artists and Animators – An Emerging Occupation in Oregon

Employment of multimedia artists and animators in Oregon has increased rapidly over the past decade, with further job growth expected in the next 10 years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon has one of the highest concentrations of multimedia artists and animators in the country, coming in third behind Georgia and California.

Multimedia artists and animators create visual effects and animations for television, movies, video games, advertising, and other media. Many artists and animators are employed in the information industry, including motion picture and sound recording industries and software publishing.

In 2014, 70 percent of Oregon’s multimedia artists and animators were employed in the Portland metro area (Multnomah and Washington counties). The Portland area is also expected to add the most jobs in this occupation through 2024, with a projected growth rate of 19 percent. Just over half of the job openings in the Portland metro area will be new growth opportunities. The other job openings are replacement positions due to employees changing jobs or retiring.

Multimedia artists and animators make above-average wages in Oregon. The 2015 annual average wage for this occupation was $63,203, compared with the annual average of $46,899 for all occupations in Oregon. Workers in the Portland metro area make slightly more, with an average wage of $78,754 in 2016. This places the Portland area in the top 10 highest paying metropolitan areas for artists and animators in the nation.

Read the full article "From Pencils to Pixels: Oregon’s Multimedia Artists and Animators", written by Workforce Analyst Emily Starbuck

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rising Demand in Oregon's Child Care Industry

The number of women of childbearing age in the labor force and the number of children under age five are both expected to rise over the next 10 years. The share of children being cared for by parents or other relatives is likely to decline. These trends will increase the demand for paid child care. Growth in demand will be moderated somewhat by an increasing number of states investing in early childhood education programs.

There is evidence of a current shortage of day care. According to a report from the Oregon Child Care Research Partnership (Child Care and Education in Oregon and Its Counties: 2014), the supply of child care spots was 17 per 100 children under 13 years old. In order to meet demand, 25 spots per hundred children were needed. This shortage was particularly acute for children with special needs, infants and toddlers, and evening care for children of parents who work late shifts.

Child care and early education is important to today's workforce – in that it allows parents to be present at work – and it is important to tomorrow's workforce as quality child care gives the next generation a solid start in their education. Additional research from the Oregon Child Care Research Partnership (Oregon Early Learning Workforce), shows that turnover among regulated child care facilities far exceeds turnover at K-12 schools, with 24 percent of the child care workforce turning over between 2013 and 2014, compared with a national turnover rate in K-12 education of 8 percent annually.

The child care industry has grown in response to the increasing numbers of families in which both parents work, and to the increasing number of households headed by women. Employment in child day care businesses with employees grew 30 percent from 2005 to 2015 – matching the growth rate in the larger industry sector of health care and social assistance. All-industry employment grew just 8 percent from 2005 to 2015.

Supply of day care currently is not meeting potential demand. Improved support of child care workers through professional development and retention strategies can improve both the availability and the quality of child care.

Read the full article "Oregon’s Child Care Industry" by Employment Economist Jessica Nelson

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

First off and most important: Happy Thanksgiving! We hope there is delicious food and the company of loved ones for all of you on Thanksgiving. May your travels be safe, your shopping trips fruitful, your football teams winners, and your weekend long.

For centuries, people celebrated Thanksgiving with feast, blessings, thanks and prayers at the end of the harvest season. The event became a national holiday on October 3, 1863 (153 years ago), when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the holiday as a national day of thanksgiving that would be celebrated on the last Thursday of November.

Almost a century later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to change the day from the last Thursday to the fourth Thursday. Because the holiday was occasionally celebrated on the fifth Thursday of the month, President Roosevelt thought by having the holiday on the fourth Thursday, people would be encouraged to shop earlier and that would give the country an economic boost. On December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed a joint resolution with the Congress clarifying that Thanksgiving Day should be celebrated on the fourth Thursday and not on the last Thursday of the month.

Thanksgiving and similar holidays are celebrated in many countries in the world, such as Australia (Norfolk Island), Canada, Germany, Grenada, Japan, Liberia, Philippines, Saint Lucia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.


The number of occupied housing units across Oregon in 2015 ─ potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner. 


The number of multigenerational households in Oregon in 2015. It is possible these households, consisting of three or more generations, will have to purchase large quantities of food to accommodate all the family members sitting around the table for the holiday feast, even if there are no guests. 

243.0 million

The forecasted number of turkeys raised in the U.S. in 2016 according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics. That is up 4 percent from the number raised during 2015.

44.0 million

The forecasted number of turkeys raised in Minnesota in 2016. Minnesota is the top turkey producing state, followed by North Carolina (33.0 million), Arkansas (26.0 million), Indiana (20.0 million), Missouri (19.7 million) and Virginia (17.0 million) according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

$19.3 million

The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys in 2015, with 99.9 percent of them coming from Canada and the remaining from the United Kingdom according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The United States ran a $10.6 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $126.2 million in sweet potatoes. The Dominican Republic was the source of 37.9 percent ($5.5 million) of total imports ($14.5 million) of sweet potatoes. 

859.0 million pounds

The forecasted weight of cranberries produced in the U.S. in 2016 according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Wisconsin was estimated to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 521.0 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (estimated at 207.0 million pounds). Oregon, Washington and New Jersey were also estimated to have substantial production, ranging from 19.4 to 58.8 million pounds.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

October Unemployment Rate Lowest in Benton County

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October at 4.2 percent. Grant County (7.8%) registered the highest rate for the month. Eleven of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 5.3 percent and six were at or below the national rate of 4.9 percent. Gilliam County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 0.6 percentage point, more than any other county.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between October 2015 and October 2016. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+3.8%). The Willamette Valley (+3.2%), Southern Oregon (+3.1%), Portland (+2.0%), the Oregon Coast (+1.9%), and Eastern Oregon (+1.2%) also saw growth.

See the full labor force and unemployment by area press release in 36 counties and metropolitan areas in Oregon.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Women’s Additional Education Doesn’t Sway the Wage Gap

More women in Oregon hold bachelor’s or advanced degrees than men. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there were 465,000 Oregon women with a bachelor’s degree or higher, accounting for 52 percent of the population with a bachelor’s degree or more education. Oregon’s jobs are just about evenly split between female and male workers, with female workers occupying 49 percent of the state’s jobs. Males are slightly more concentrated in lower education groups, with 58 percent of the jobs where workers have less than a high school education held by males.

While women tend to have a bit more education than men in the workforce, that education doesn’t act to reduce the level of earnings disparity between male and female workers. Overall, the average monthly earnings of female workers – not taking into account the type of job or differences in work schedules – were $3,329 in the third quarter of 2015, compared with $4,790 for males. That’s 69 percent of men’s earnings. For the group of workers with less than a high school education, women’s earnings were 74 percent of men’s earnings. For those with a high school education up to an associate degree, females earned 70 percent of males’ average earnings. With a bachelor’s or advanced degree, females earned on average just 63 percent of the average male earnings.

This pattern holds true across the economy, to a certain extent. Industries with a large share of low-wage jobs tend to have more similar average earnings figures for males and females. The wage floor provided by the minimum wage means that the low-wage workforce is paid more similarly than the high-wage workforce. Averages for the high-wage workforce are influenced by a small number of super-earners. The workforce at higher levels of education attainment is going to be affected more by the breadth of available positions and pay scales than the workforce with little education.

Read the full article "Women’s Additional Education Doesn’t Sway the Wage Gap", written by Jessica Nelson.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oregon Continues Strong Job Growth in October

Oregon added 6,100 nonfarm payroll jobs in October, continuing a trend of strong job growth. Since October 2015, Oregon added 55,400 jobs, which was a gain of 3.1 percent. This growth rate is nearly double the national job growth rate of 1.7 percent over that period. Oregon’s September nonfarm payrolls were revised upward by 1,900 jobs to a new reading of a gain of 4,300 jobs.

In October, Oregon gains were led by two industries which each added 1,800 jobs: construction and health care and social assistance. Next in line were leisure and hospitality, which added 1,000 jobs; government, which also added 1,000; and retail trade, which added 900. Only one major industry declined substantially in October, as professional and business services dropped by 1,200 jobs.

Job growth was widespread among the major industries over the past year, with none declining. Leading the way were three industries that expanded by more than 4 percent: construction (+5,900 jobs, or 6.9%); other services (+3,300 jobs, or 5.3%); and health care and social assistance (+10,300 jobs, or 4.6%). Other industries with above-average growth over the past year were information (+1,300 jobs, or 4.0%); government (+10,400 jobs, or 3.4%); professional and business services (+8,000, or 3.4%); and leisure and hospitality (+6,600 jobs, or 3.4%).

In October, Oregon’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, essentially unchanged from 5.5 percent in September. The unemployment rate was close to its year-ago figure of 5.6 percent in October 2015.

Oregon’s labor force continued to grow in October, bringing the labor force participation rate up to 63.3 percent, from 61.3 percent in October 2015. Oregon’s labor force participation rate—which represents the share of the population that is employed or unemployed—has increased since May 2015 as the job market has improved because of Oregon’s strong growth.

Watch Nick Beleiciks discuss Oregon's employment situation:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Veterans Day 2016: Facts about Oregon's Veterans

In 2015, the unemployment rate for veterans in Oregon (5.6%) was about the same as Oregon's overall unemployment rate (5.4%), according to the Current Population Survey. Across the U.S., veterans had a lower unemployment rate (4.6%).

About 9,000 veterans were unemployed, which accounted for 9.4 percent of the unemployed population (105,000) in the state. Over the last decade, unemployed veterans made up between 6.5 percent and 10.1 percent of the overall unemployed population in the state.

About 353,000 veterans age 18 and over lived in Oregon in 2015. About 158,000 veterans (45%) were in the labor force and 195,000 (55%) were not in the labor force. The high percentage of Oregon's veterans out of the labor force could be related to the age of veterans. According to the American Community Survey, in 2015 about 53 percent of Oregon's veterans were age 65 years or older. More than half of Oregon's veterans served in the military at least four decades ago: Vietnam War era veterans (41%), Korean War (9%), and World War II veterans (5%). Gulf-War era I and II veterans accounted for 29 percent in 2015. 

In 2015, Oregon’s veterans earned a higher median income ($34,811) than non-veterans ($25,941). Education could be one of the factors influencing veterans’ higher median income. Among Oregon’s veterans ages 25 years and older, 43 percent have an associate’s degree or some college compared with 34 percent of non-veterans. About 5 percent of veterans don’t have a high school diploma, while 11 percent of non-veterans don’t have a high school diploma. Higher educational attainment generally translates into higher earnings.

Female veterans, who represented 7.8 percent of Oregon’s veterans, earned a median income of $27,183, less than male veterans’ median of $35,226.

Veterans are more likely to have a disability, but less likely to be in poverty than the general population. About 34 percent of Oregon’s veterans reported to have a service-connected disability, compared with 16 percent of the total civilian population. About 8 percent of veterans were in poverty compared with about 16 percent.

For more information on Oregon's Veterans, read the full article "Employment Among Oregon’s Veterans" by Felicia Bechtoldt.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treat: Halloween-Related Employment Fun Facts!

For thousands of years, Halloween has been associated with witches, vampires, and ghosts. During the years, the holiday has evolved from traditions from Celtic harvest festivals to child-friendly activities, such as trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and wearing funny costumes.

In Oregon, there were about 483,000 potential trick-or-treaters ─ children ages 5 to 14 ─ in 2015 according to the U.S. Census. Of course, many children under the age of five and older than 15 also went trick-or-treating. Last year, they had about 1.5 million occupied housing units to visit across the state.

Trick-or-treaters dress up in Halloween costumes that portray real professions*, such as:
  • Firefighters: roughly 3,800 firefighters work in Oregon.
  • Police officers: Oregon has 5,200 police and sheriff’s patrol officers.
  • Doctors: about 65,700 health care diagnosing and treating practitioners were employed statewide.
  • Veterinarians: we have 1,420 veterinarians in the state.
  • Chefs: about 1,600 chefs and head cooks work in Oregon. 
  • Construction workers: 70,500 construction trades workers were employed in 2014.
In Oregon, there were 122 sewing, needlework and piece goods establishments in 2015. Many of these establishments are inclined to create homemade costumes for trick-or-treaters. In 2015, there were 43 chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery establishments and 179 farms that harvested pumpkins for sale.

Happy Halloween!

*All jobs estimates are for 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

September Unemployment Rates Lowest in Benton and Hood River Counties

Benton County and Hood River County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September at 4.5 percent. Grant County (7.9%) registered the highest rate for the month. Eleven of 36 Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 5.5 percent, and six were at or below the national rate of 5.0 percent. Douglas County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 0.9 percentage point, more than any other county.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between September 2015 and September 2016. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+5.1%). Southern Oregon (+3.2%), the Willamette Valley (+3.1%), Portland (+2.1%), the Oregon Coast (+2.0%), and Eastern Oregon (+1.6%) also saw growth.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Construction is Largest Contributor to Deschutes County's GDP Growth in 2015

Deschutes County’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose to $7.34 billion in 2015 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The rate of growth was even more impressive with the additional $425 million in economic output representing a growth rate of 6.9 percent from 2014, the eighth fastest increase in the United States.

The rapid growth in Deschutes County’s GDP over the past year was due to rapid growth in the housing sector. Construction, primarily driven by residential building construction, was the largest contributor to local GDP growth over the past year. Construction accounted for around 19 percent of our GDP growth, but the industry only accounts for around 7 percent of the county’s jobs. Based on continued strong job growth in 2016, particularly in the construction industry, expect to see gross domestic product continue to rise into the near future.

Despite the rapid growth in GDP, levels of economic activity remain below pre-recession levels. GDP figures were 1.5 percent lower than the previous peak in 2006 or about $107 million dollars lower. Although total economic output remains below pre-recession levels, total nonfarm employment regained those pre-recession levels in early 2015 and Deschutes County has been in an expansionary period ever since.

To learn more, read Regional Economist Damon Runberg's full article "Deschutes County’s Economic Activity Among the Fastest Growing in the United States".

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Oregon Job Vacancies Hit All-Time High in Summer

Oregon businesses reported 61,000 job vacancies in summer 2016. That marks an increase of 19,700 job vacancies from the prior summer, and the largest number of job vacancies recorded in the state since the Oregon Job Vacancy Survey began in 2008.

After easing down since last summer, the share of job vacancies identified as difficult to fill rose again. Businesses said they faced challenges filling 63 percent of all vacancies. The share of job vacancies requiring previous experience has slowly drifted downward over the past two years. A majority (57%) of summer job vacancies still required previous experience though.

As is usually the case, health care reported the largest number of vacancies (11,600). Leisure and hospitality recorded the second-highest total (8,900), and construction continued its strong showing with 6,900 summer job openings. These three sectors accounted for almost half (45%) of all summer vacancies statewide. Even so, job openings were broad-based across the economy. Nine different industries reported at least 2,000 vacancies in summer. The number of vacancies more than doubled from summer 2015 in manufacturing, administrative and waste services, professional and technical services, and financial activities.
The average wage for job vacancies rose to $16.66 per hour in summer, a gain of more than $1 per hour from the prior year. The average was pulled up by a doubling of job vacancies with starting wages of at least $25 per hour. Occupations with the most vacancies in this high-wage category included carpenters, registered nurses, and electricians.

For more details on recent Oregon job vacancies, visit the publications page on and scroll down to the “Job Vacancy Survey” section.

Monday, October 3, 2016

AmeriCorps – Making a Positive Change in Your Community

AmeriCorps is a program in which participants serve in communities across the U.S and is often considered the “domestic Peace Corps”. Each year, 75,000 members complete assignments in education, environmental protection, economic opportunity, health care, public safety, and disaster services at public agencies, schools, nonprofits, community- and faith-based organizations. Since the establishment of AmeriCorps in 1994, about 900,000 members have participated in the program.

The skills developed by AmeriCorps members are important to employers across all sectors of the economy. Acquiring training and work experience in an area of expertise, developing a deep understanding of how to address social challenges, and enhancing leadership and problem solving skills, prepare AmeriCorps graduates for today’s global job market.

Members are eligible for tuition funding or service scholarships offered by more than 150 colleges and universities in the U.S. Another advantage of the program for AmeriCorps VISTA alumni is that they are provided one year of non-competitive eligibility for federal government jobs.

To learn more about AmeriCorps opportunities in your community, click on Join AmeriCorps.