The 48,000 job vacancies in 2015 represented a slight increase from 45,000 vacancies in 2014. The increase between 2013 and 2014 was much larger, increasing 40 percent from the 32,000 vacancies in 2013. This smoothing out of the job vacancy trend is consistent with general strength in Oregon’s economy. Unemployment rates in 2015 were well below the long-term average for the state and job growth has been stronger for the past two years.
The two-county Portland Metro area – Multnomah and Washington counties – accounted for 17,400 of the state’s 48,100 job vacancies in 2015. That is to be expected, as those counties account for a similar share of Oregon’s total employment. Clackamas County, which is adjacent to the aforementioned Portland Metro, had more than 5,000 job vacancies in 2015, similar to the number in the Mid-Valley region comprised of Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties.
East Cascades has seen significant economic growth recently. That region, which stretches from Oregon’s northern border to its southern border, had almost 5,000 job vacancies in 2015.
In some areas, employers had more difficulty filling job vacancies. Overall, 59 percent of Oregon’s 2015 job vacancies were reported by employers as difficult to fill. In Clackamas, the share reached 72 percent, and in Southwestern Oregon and East Cascades, the share approached two-thirds of reported vacancies. In contrast, employers in Lane County and in Northwest Oregon reported that about half of vacancies were difficult to fill.
To learn about the industries that had most job vacancies, read Employment Economist Jessica Nelson's full article "A Strong Economy Meant Many Job Vacancies in 2015".