Friday, February 16, 2018

Oregon’s Coffee Shops Continue to Perk Up

According to the National Coffee Association of the U.S.A., which has tracked coffee consumption through annual surveys since 1950, 83 percent of Americans 18 years and older say they drink coffee and 62 percent drink it daily. With such a large majority of Americans drinking coffee, it’s no surprise to find several coffee establishments in cities throughout the state, and sometimes multiple shops on the same block.

Coffee shops and stands are classified in the snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars industry according to the North American Industry Classification System. This industry includes other establishments serving items such as donuts, pretzels, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. In 2016, there were 1,229 establishments in this category with an annual average employment of 13,150. About half of these establishments were located in the Portland metro area.
Though snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars is a small industry, comprising less than 1 percent of total statewide employment, it is a growing industry. Growth in both the number of establishments and employment in the industry has outpaced the average rate of growth for all industries. From 2001 to 2016, the industry’s employment doubled in Oregon, whereas total employment for all industries increased by 15 percent. Similarly, the number of establishments increased by 71 percent compared with 31 percent for all industries. Growth at snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars has also outpaced the larger food services and drinking places industry.

To learn more about Oregon coffee shops, see the full article written by workforce analyst Ainoura Oussenbec.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February 14th Fun Facts!

Today we can celebrate Oregon's birthday and Valentine's Day. Here are some fun facts in honor of both occasions.

Make a Wish!

Oregon officially became a state on February 14, 1859. Happy 159th birthday!

The average number of births in the U.S. on February 14 between 1994 and 2014

The 1860 Census population estimate for Oregon

Oregon's estimated population as of 2017
Be Mine

The number of Oregon jobs in sugar and confectionery product manufacturing in February 2017

Total employment at Oregon florists' business establishments in February 2017

The number of Oregonians in 2016 who had married someone in the past year

1.6 million
The number of unmarried Oregonians ages 15 and older in 2016

Monday, February 5, 2018

Oregon’s Company Headquarters: Strong Growth

While Oregon is home to just two Fortune 500 companies, that doesn’t mean headquarters don’t have an impact on our economy. Oregon’s 1,300 establishments in the ‘management of companies’ sector employ nearly 47,000 people and pay a whopping average wage of $114,500. And while it’s just 3 percent of Oregon’s private-sector employment, it generates 6.8 percent of the state’s private-sector payroll and contributed 4.5 percent to job growth since the end of the Great Recession.

After growing at about the same pace as the overall economy (private sector) through the first half of the 2000s, the management of companies sector began to pull away right before the Great Recession hit. The state would go on to lose nearly 150,000 jobs, a decline of 8 percent. In contrast, management of companies was resilient. It shed just 1,100 jobs, a decline of 3 percent. And while it took nearly five years for the greater economy to regain all of the jobs lost during the recession, management of companies rebounded in two years. Since the end of the recession, it’s grown nearly twice as fast as the overall economy.

Post-recession growth has also handily outpaced national trends in this sector. Since mid-2010, Oregon’s headquarters expanded by 34 percent; one-and-a-half times faster than the nation’s 22 percent.
To read more about the management of companies, see the full article "Oregon's Company Headquarters: Strong Growth and High Wages", written by Regional Economist Amy Vander Vliet.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Per Capita Personal Income in Oregon

In 2016, Oregon had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $45,399. Oregon’s PCPI ranked 29th in the United States and was 92 percent of the national average, $49,246, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In Oregon, the 2016 PCPI increased by 2.4 percent from 2015, faster than the nationwide PCPI growth rate of 1.6 percent.

Per capita personal income also varies between states and counties, and by metro and nonmetro areas. A look at county numbers shows high variability in PCPI. In general, PCPI is higher in the Portland and Bend area and along the Columbia Gorge. Sherman County, a nonmetro area, actually had the highest PCPI in 2016 at $55,846.

The three major components of per capita personal income – net earnings; transfer receipts; and dividends, interest, and rent – make up different portions of counties’ PCPI. In general, counties with higher PCPI have a higher percentage of PCPI attributable to net earnings. Per capita net earnings made up 66.3 percent of PCPI in Washington County and 60.4 percent in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. In Malheur County, per capita net earnings made up just 24.6 percent of PCPI.

Areas with a higher concentration of older residents can show lower PCPI. In Oregon, Malheur County ($29,714) and Jefferson County ($32,670) had the lowest PCPI. The reason is that as people leave the labor force, they have likely passed their peak earning years, and therefore have less contribution to the net earnings component of personal income. Remember PCPI represents income, rather than wealth. Older residents may have substantial wealth, but not have as much relative income, unless it was income-generating investments that would show up in the “dividends, interest, and rent” portion of PCPI.

Read the full article "Per Capita Personal Income in Oregon" by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

December 2017 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.1 percent in December 2017. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in December include Hood River (3.2%) and Wheeler (3.3%).

Twelve of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide and national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. Wheeler County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 1.2 percentage points, more than any other county. Other counties that saw a large improvement in their unemployment rates were Grant and Wallowa, where the unemployment rates improved by 0.9 percentage point over the year.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between December 2016 and December 2017. The largest job gains occurred in the Willamette Valley (+2.9%) and Central Oregon (+2.8%). Portland (+2.6%), Southern Oregon (+1.9%), and Eastern Oregon (+1.3%) also saw growth. The Oregon Coast saw a negligible job growth rate of 0.1 percent.

To learn more about the employment situation for your county, click here. To see the full press release, click here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oregon Adds 14,700 Jobs in December

In December, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 14,700 jobs, following a revised loss of 300 jobs in November. Monthly gains were concentrated in two industries that bounced back from weaker hiring patterns in the summer, as leisure and hospitality added 4,400 jobs in December and professional and business services added 3,000. Three other industries added at least 1,000 jobs in December: manufacturing (+2,400 jobs), construction (+1,600), and health care and social assistance (+1,000). No major industry cut jobs substantially in December.

Since December 2016, total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 48,400 jobs, or 2.6 percent. This is near the rate of growth experienced throughout 2016 and well into mid-2017. While the jobs reports in late 2017, which covered the August through November data, were indicating a slowdown in Oregon’s economic expansion, the strong jobs reading in December reflects a return to robust growth.

Over the most recent 12 months, gains were most rapid in construction, which added 8,800 jobs, or 9.4 percent. Next in line was leisure and hospitality (+8,900 jobs, or 4.4%), followed closely by private educational services (+1,400 jobs, or 4.0%). Several major industries expanded by close to 3 percent: health care and social assistance (+7,200 jobs, or 3.1%), financial activities (+2,900 jobs, or 3.0%), and professional and business services (+6,600 jobs, or 2.8%). Meanwhile, only two industries changed employment over the year by less than 1 percent: government (+2,300 jobs, or 0.7%) and wholesale trade (-200 jobs, or -0.3%).

Oregon’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.1 percent in December from 4.2 percent in November. Oregon’s unemployment rate was the same as the U.S. unemployment rate, which was also 4.1 percent in December. The state’s annual average unemployment rate for 2017 was 4.0 percent, which was Oregon’s lowest annual average unemployment rate since comparable records began in 1976. Oregon’s second-lowest annual average unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, which was reached in 2016 and 1995.

You can find more press release documents on

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2017 in Review: Job Growth Slows as Unemployment Reaches Record Low

Oregon’s job growth slowed in 2017 to its slowest rate in five years. The slowdown wasn’t caused by employers needing fewer workers. This slowdown seems to be the result of employers struggling to find enough workers to fill their vacancies, which is limiting the amount of job growth.

Oregon employers added a healthy 50,600 jobs in the 12 months through June, before slowing down later in the year. The 30,600 new jobs added from November 2016 to November 2017 were the fewest jobs added since 2012.

Oregon’s over-the-year growth rate of 1.7 percent was slower than the historical average and just the ninth fastest growth since 2000. That is noticeably slower than the previous two years of 2.8 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2015.
The jobs added in 2017 were not just low-paying jobs. On the contrary, a mix of industries paying lower-, middle-, and higher-average wages contributed to overall job growth. This means the average real hourly wage of Oregon’s workers continued to rise. Now reaching $25.90 per hour, the average real hourly wage in 2017 was the highest it’s been in recent years. But the rate of wage gains was slower than the year before.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was in record low territory for all of 2017. It reached a low of 3.6 percent in May 2017, before drifting up to 4.2 percent by November. The annual average unemployment rate for the year will be the lowest on record.

Read more about 2017's labor trends in the "Year in Review" article, written by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oregon Business Employment Dynamics Report: First Quarter 2017

Establishments with job gains added 108,577 jobs to the Oregon economy while establishments with job losses reduced employment by 89,507 jobs during the first quarter of 2017. Expanding establishments added 90,747 jobs in the first quarter of 2017 and that expansion exceeded the 75,212 jobs lost due to contracting establishments by 15,535. Opening establishments gained 17,830 jobs which was 3,535 more than the 14,295 jobs lost due to establishments going out of business. The result of the combined jobs gained and lost was an overall increase of 19,070 jobs.

The seasonally adjusted number of Oregon establishments gaining jobs increased by 1,949 (growing from 31,766 to 33,715). At the same time, the number of establishments losing jobs decreased by 1,505 declining from 30,699 to 29,164 establishments. The number of establishments that opened (6,439) was greater than the number of establishments that closed (5,100) resulting in a net establishment gain of 1,339.
Industry sectors posting job gains included: retail trade (3,376), professional and business services (2,278), construction (3,236), education and health services (4,114), leisure and hospitality (2,129), manufacturing (388), wholesale trade (451), financial activities (551), and information (206). Only transportation and warehousing (-716) had fewer jobs in the first quarter of 2017 than during the prior quarter.

Coming out of the Great Recession, total private-sector employment in the retail sector hit a low level of 177,265 employees during the first quarter of 2010. Since then, total retail employment and the net change in employment (gross job gains minus gross job losses) have seen a slow but steady pattern of net job gains. Between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, gross job losses of 10,038 due to business closings and contractions were more than offset by new business openings and existing business expansions of 13,414 jobs, for a net gain of 3,376 jobs.

This article was originally written by Ken Lux, the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Coordinator. A more detailed listing of Oregon Business Employment Dynamics data, statewide (all industries) and statewide (by industry sector), is available at on the Publications page in the Reports & Analysis box.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Highest-Paying Industries in Oregon: Six Industries that Offer Six Figure Incomes

The average annual wage in Oregon in 2016 was $49,467. However, a handful of large industries pay about twice that much to their employees. These are sectors of the economy where businesses pay very well and employ workers with a high level of technical skills. 

High wages are not the only thing these firms have to offer. All of these industries have enjoyed job growth in Oregon over the last seven years, though the utilities, high-tech manufacturing, and financial industries have grown relatively slowly, while the software and management of companies sectors have experienced rapid job growth.

Software and Computer Systems Design 

There are two related industries that have enjoyed the fastest job growth among high wage sectors: software and computer systems design. The 27,900 workers in these industries earned an average mean wage of $103,445 in 2016. 

The bulk of the employment here is in occupations with high annual wages: software developers ($99,670), database administrators ($84,540), and computer programmers ($77,780). Some of the higher-wage occupations include computer network architects ($121,250) and information research scientists ($154,220).

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this sector is its rapid employment growth. From 2010 to 2017, employment grew by an impressive 46 percent in Oregon. It’s also worth noting that 60 percent of employment here is in just two Portland area counties – Multnomah and Washington.


There are 8,920 workers employed at one of the more than 400 utilities in Oregon. In 2016, these workers earned an average wage of $87,456. Most of these utilities are small and publicly owned. Some of the larger utilities in Oregon include: Portland General Electric, Northwest Natural Gas, and the Bonneville Power Administration.

About half of all employment in Oregon utilities is in private-sector firms with the rest in federal and local government. The private side of the utility sector is growing relatively slowly in Oregon with a gain of just 300 jobs in the last seven years. The represents a growth rate of less than half of the overall Oregon economy.

Maintaining utility infrastructure requires highly technical skills. Some of the most common occupations in utilities pay high annual wages to folks with the appropriate skills: electrical power-line installers and repairers ($89,300), power plant operators ($74,570), electrical engineers ($92,380), and electrical and electronics repairers, powerhouse, substation, and relay ($83,990).

Learn more about the other four high-paying industries in the full article "The Highest-Paying Industries in Oregon: Six Industries that Offer Six Figure Incomes" by Workforce Analyst Christian Kaylor

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Holiday Season Fun Facts

This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift-giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, we present the following holiday-related facts and figures from the U.S. Census Bureau's collection of statistics. Happy holidays!

$22.7 billion
The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2016. A decrease of $1.0 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year.

The estimated percentage of jewelry store total sales in 2016 that took place in December.

The December sales accounted for hobby, toy, and game stores in 2016.

The number of locations in Oregon that primarily produced dolls, toys, and games in 2015. California led the nation with 90 establishments.

The total number of Oregon workers (Santa's elves?) employed at the businesses primarily producing dolls, toys, and games in Oregon in 2015.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

November 2017 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.2 percent in November 2017. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in November include Hood River (3.5%), Washington (3.6%), and Wheeler (3.6%).

Eastern and Southern Oregon had higher unemployment rates in November 2017, which were still closer to their record low unemployment rates since 1990. Curry and Harney counties have registered the highest unemployment rates for the month at 6.4 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between November 2016 and November 2017. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+2.4%). Portland (+2.2%), the Willamette Valley (+2.1%), Southern Oregon (+1.7%), Eastern Oregon (+1.1%), and the Oregon Coast (+0.7%) also saw growth.

To learn more about the employment situation for your county, click here. To see the full press release, click here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Was 4.2 Percent in November, as Job Growth Slowed

Oregon’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.2 percent in November from 4.3 percent in October, remaining near the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in November.

“Oregon’s low unemployment rate and other positive labor force measures indicate there’s a shrinking pool of available job seekers,” said Nick Beleiciks, Oregon’s state employment economist. “Businesses are having difficulty finding applicants, and that has slowed Oregon’s job growth in the second half of this year.”

In November, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 1,800 jobs, following a revised gain of 7,900 jobs in October. Monthly losses were concentrated in professional and business services, which cut 2,000 jobs, and in manufacturing, which cut 1,700. Counterbalancing these job losses were gains of 1,300 in other services and 1,200 in leisure and hospitality.

The job losses in November, coupled with the downward revision to October, slowed the pace of Oregon’s over-the-year growth rate. Since November 2016, Oregon has added 30,600 nonfarm payroll jobs, which equals an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent. Oregon is now gaining jobs at a slightly faster pace than the national growth rate of 1.4 percent over the past 12 months. This is a change after a long stretch of growth that far outpaced the national growth rate.

Read the Oregon Employment Department's full press release.