The state's private employers reported 45,000 vacancies this fall, according to the quarterly job vacancy survey results released yesterday.
Health care and social assistance showed the largest number of vacancies, as is normally the case, with 9,300 vacancies. Leisure and hospitality and retail trade (a big holiday hiring industry) also reported large numbers of vacancies. Together these three industries accounted for roughly half (52%) of all job openings statewide.
Businesses were hiring for a diverse set of occupations as broad-based economic expansion continued this fall. Holiday hiring could be seen in some of the occupational groups with the most vacancies. They included truck drivers, driver/sales workers, retail salespersons, and cashiers. Other top occupations with job vacancies this fall included personal care aides, maids, nursing assistants, and production workers.
Difficult-to-fill vacancies made up a larger share of the total in fall 2015 (59%) compared with fall 2014 (50%). Businesses were most likely to cite a lack of applicants as the primary reason for difficulty filling vacancies. As experience requirements increased, difficulty filling job openings also rose. While less than half of all job vacancies with no required experience were difficult to fill, nearly all vacancies requiring at least five years of experience were difficult to fill.
Clackamas County and the Mid-Willamette Valley reported the largest shares of difficult-to-fill vacancies (three out of four) in the fall. These two areas were also the only ones where less than half the job vacancies reported were for full-time positions. Statewide, two out of every three job vacancies were for full-time positions.