In 2013, the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector employed more than 49,000 in Oregon, an all-time high. The sector showed rapid job growth in 2012 and 2013, adding nearly 4,500 jobs during and growing 10 percent.
Oregon's agriculture sector typically shows slow and steady growth, but this recent growth followed steep employment losses during the Great Recession. Oregon's agriculture sector, in particular nurseries and grass seed farmers, was hard hit by the national slowdown in housing. In 2009 alone, the sector declined 8 percent, shedding nearly 4,000 jobs.
Oregon's agriculture sector has grown more slowly than the industry nationally, in terms of its output, as measured by its contribution to Oregon's gross domestic product (GDP). The graph below illustrates that in particular during the recent recession the nation significantly outpaced Oregon's agriculture sector.
Prior to 2006, Oregon was trending fairly close to the nation. In 2013, Oregon's output within agriculture was 66 percent higher than it was in 1997. Nationally, the industry's output was 147 percent above its 1997 level.
For more on Oregon's agriculture sector, read Pat O'Connor's full article: Oregon's Agriculture Sector.