Tuesday, May 21, 2019

April 2019 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.3 percent in April 2019. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in April included Washington (3.5%) and Hood River (3.6%). Only Benton, Washington, and Hood River counties had unemployment rates at or below the national rate of 3.6 percent. Eight of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates below the statewide rate of 4.3 percent. 

Grant County registered the highest unemployment rate for the month at 8.0 percent. Other counties with some of the highest unemployment rates in April were Klamath (6.9%) and Harney (6.6%). April 2019 unemployment rates for almost all of Oregon’s counties were similar to what they were in April 2018. Only Wheeler (+1.5%), Gilliam (+1.1%), Grant (+1.1%), and Lake (+1.1%) counties had unemployment rates change more than 1 percentage point over the past year.
Read the full press release here

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Migration Patterns in the Past Five Years

Oregon is an in-migration state. For many years, more people have moved into Oregon each year than have moved out of the state. This population growth fuels the expansion of our cities and brings new brain power to foster the economic engine of Oregon’s future. Workers in some occupational groups are more likely to move than others. Where do these in-migrants come from? And when Oregonians leave, where do they go?

The largest occupational groups also have the largest net in-migration numbers. The top 10 occupational groups by net in-migration include the top nine groups by total employment size in Oregon. These occupations employ a lot of workers, so it isn’t surprising that many of the people moving to Oregon are working in these types of jobs. Smaller occupation groups tend to have lower levels of net in-migration.

Across occupation groups, net in-migration numbers typically account for between 1 percent and 4 percent of the groups’ estimated 2013 to 2017 labor force. At the low end, with net in-migration averaging about 1 percent of total employment, are occupations like protective service; construction and extraction; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Occupations with a more sizeable net in-migration impact averaging about 4 percent of statewide employment include food preparation and serving; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.
To learn more about migration patterns in Oregon, read the article written by Employment Economist Jessica Nelson.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Oregon Adds 3,300 Jobs in April

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose 3,300 in April, following a gain of 6,500 jobs in March. Monthly gains were strongest in health care and social assistance and in leisure and hospitality, which each added 1,000 jobs. Several other major industries added at least 500 jobs: manufacturing (+700 jobs), government (+600), and construction (+500). Only one major industry shed a substantial number of jobs: professional and business services dropped 1,000 jobs.

 Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economic growth appears to have accelerated. Since April 2018, total payroll employment is up 48,200 jobs, or 2.5 percent. Job gains were relatively weak, averaging 2,300 per month, during mid-2017 through mid-2018. More recently, job growth has averaged 5,400 jobs per month since September 2018. The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,900 jobs, or 7.6%) and construction (+7,000 jobs, or 6.7%). Job gains were widespread, with six other major industries adding between 2.3 percent and 3.5 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months.

Full press release is available here

Monday, May 6, 2019

Enrollment at Oregon’s Public Universities

Enrollment in higher education is largely counter-cyclical. Enrollment tends to soar during periods of recession and drop during expansions. Nationally, and here in Oregon, we are in the midst of a historically long economic expansion with many economists agreeing we are at or near “full employment.” Based on where we are in the business cycle we would expect to see enrollment down as employment opportunities abound and unemployment is very low. That has not been the case. Collective enrollment across Oregon’s public university system has been largely flat since 2011. However, this doesn’t mean that the public university system is entirely kicking the counter-cyclical label.

Enrollment across Oregon’s eight public universities grew rapidly as we entered the last recession in 2008. The increase in enrollment corresponded with a spike in unemployed Oregonians. It is common for people who lose a job to go back to school during these tough economic times in order to receive education and training for a new career. The number of unemployed Oregonians peaked in 2009 and has been declining rapidly since. In fact, there are significantly fewer unemployed Oregonians today than at the peak of the last expansion in 2006 and 2007. Although the employment outcomes for Oregonians are nearly as good as ever, enrollment in Oregon’s public universities remains near peak levels.
To learn more about the relationship between university enrollment and unemployment, read the article written by Regional Economist Damon Runberg

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Oregon’s 2018 Natural Population Increase Was the Lowest on Record

In 2018, Oregon’s population increased by 54,200 to 4,195,300. This marked growth of 1.3 percent over the year, and growth of 9.5 percent since the 2010 Census. Portland State University’s Population Research Center recently released more detailed information on why this population growth has occurred.

There are two main reasons that lead to population change. First, an area increases in population if more births than deaths occur in a given year or vice versa. Second, population can increase or decrease through net migration. That is, over the year, people either move into or out of an area. A positive value of net migration means more people moving into an area than leaving it, while a negative value of net migration indicates more people leaving an area than moving in.

In 2018, natural increase contributed 6,600 to population growth, which was the lowest since comparable records began in 1960. The low natural increase is caused by an increase in the number of deaths (36,200), which was the second highest total since 1960 after 2017. In 2017, there were 36,800 deaths in Oregon. Since 2011, Oregon had a relatively low natural increase compared with the prior four decades. A lot of Oregon’s population increase in 2018 was due to net migration, which at 47,600 people was one of the largest net migrations since 1996.
To learn more about Oregon's population change, read the article by projections economist Felicia Bechtoldt

Monday, April 29, 2019

Oregon's Aging Workforce

Oregon’s workforce is aging. The number of Oregon jobs held by workers age 55 and over more than tripled from 1992 to 2017, while the total number of jobs grew by just 50 percent. Workers 55 years and over held just 10 percent of the jobs in 1992, increasing their share to 23 percent of all jobs by 2017. Driving this trend is the fact that much of the Baby Boom Generation is now 55 and over, and they are more likely to be in the labor force than previous generations were at this age. Many of these workers are probably planning to retire in the next 10 years, taking their skills and experience with them.

Although the aging workforce is a general demographic trend, it impacts employers, industries, or regions to varying degrees. Employers should know the age profile of their own workforce so they can plan accordingly for increased turnover from retirees. At a broader level, workforce planners need to know the demographic profiles of entire industries and regions to help gauge the need for future replacement workers.

The pace of retirements will likely be faster in industries that have an older workforce profile. Industry age profiles vary from the relatively young accommodation and food services sector where just 14 percent of workers are 55 and over to the relatively old mining and quarrying sector where 33 percent of workers are 55 and over. Although natural resources and utilities have high concentrations of older workers, they employ fewer workers and will require relatively few replacement workers. Some employers within these industries may struggle to find enough suitable workers if they don’t plan ahead.

Health care (both private and public) stands out for the size of its aging workforce, with 64,000 workers age 55 and over. Other industries with a large number of workers nearing retirement age are manufacturing (46,000 workers), retail trade (43,000), and private and public educational services (42,000).

Employers in these and in all other industries need to plan for how they are going to attract replacement workers, especially for jobs that require significant training.
To learn more about Oregon's aging workforce, read the full article written by State Employment Economist, Nick Beleiciks

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

March 2019 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.4 percent in March 2019. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in March included Washington (3.6%), Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, and Yamhill (all at 3.9%). Only Benton and Washington counties had unemployment rates at or below the national rate of 3.8 percent. Seven of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates below the statewide rate of 4.4 percent.

Grant County registered the highest unemployment rate for the month at 8.4 percent. Other counties with some of the highest unemployment rates in March were Klamath (7.3%) and Harney (6.9%). The March 2019 unemployment rates of almost all of Oregon’s counties were higher than they were in March 2018.
Read the full press release here

Monday, April 22, 2019

Oregon has the 5th Largest Share of Total Public Lands in the Nation.

Our public lands provide numerous economic, social, and environmental benefits including the protection of our drinking water and providing habitat for wildlife. They also support tourism and the outdoor recreation economy, and support rural Oregonians. In celebration of Earth Day, Regional Economist Damon Runberg took a a look at the conservation and protection of Oregon's public lands. Here is what he found!

Oregon has the fifth largest share of total land in public ownership (60.4%). Over 37 million acres of Oregon are publicly owned and managed by the federal or state government. The vast majority of this land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management; these two federal agencies manage 55.5 percent of all land in Oregon. However, we also have national and state parks, state lands, and many smaller parcels managed by local cities, counties, and tribes.

To view a more detailed picture of the public land ownership in Oregon, visit the accompanying map on the U.S. Geological Survey site, here.
According to a recent study, by the Outdoor Industry Association, public lands across the nation account for $45 billion in economic output annually and support 396,000 jobs. Here in Oregon the outdoor recreation economy directly employs 172,000 Oregonians with total payroll exceeding $5 billion annually. Public lands are the basic infrastructure that the outdoor recreation economy is built upon. Public lands provide lakes and rivers for fishing, game for hunting or wildlife viewing, trails for hiking and biking, OHV areas for motorsports, mountains for skiing, and camping opportunities.

Across the state there are roughly 5,300 people employed by federal, state, and local governments who are actively engaged in managing conservation programs for our public lands. Around 54 percent of these are employed by federal agencies, with the largest share in the Bureau of Land Management. Oregon has a high concentration of folks who are actively managing these conservation programs, with the ninth highest location quotient (industry specialization) of all 50 states. As would be expected, the states with the highest concentration of their employment in conservation programs are western states with large tracts of public lands, such as Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

Conservation activities and education programs are more prevalent in the summer months due to better weather and easier access. As a result, employment in public conservation programs is highly seasonal, with summer employment more than 22 percent higher than employment during the winter months. These opportunities are spread across the entire state of Oregon. Rural communities with a high share of public land have relatively high concentrations of conservation activity, such as Klamath, Lincoln, Douglas, Crook, Coos, and Malheur counties.

To learn more, read Damon's full article here

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Renewable Energy Production Jobs in Oregon Totaled 1,825 in 2018.

Earth Day is held every year in the United States on April 22nd as a day intended to raise awareness and invoke an appreciation for the Earth's environment. In honor of the 49th official Earth Day, here is some information about renewable energy production jobs in Oregon!

In the U.S., renewables provided 13 percent of the energy generated in 2017 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In Oregon, three-fourths of the net electricity is generated by hydroelectric power plants and other renewable energy resources. Oregon is among the top three hydroelectric power producers in the U.S., accounting for more than 12% of U.S. hydroelectric generation in 2017.

In 2018, there were more than 1,800 jobs in the renewable energy power generation production in Oregon. This includes establishments that are primarily engaged in operating hydropower, geothermal, biomass, wind, and other electric power generation facilities. It excludes establishments that build renewable energy power facilities, and manufacture and install renewable energy technologies.

To learn more, check out economist Felicia Bechtoldt's article here. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Oregon Adds 5,700 Jobs in March

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose 5,700 jobs in March, following a decline of 1,200 jobs in February. Five major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs in March: professional and business services (+1,300 jobs), government (+1,100), health care and social assistance (+900), other services (+800), and leisure and hospitality (+700). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in March.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March, unchanged from 4.4 percent in February. For 29 consecutive months, dating back to November 2016, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in both February and March of this year.

Job gains in recent months are an indication of continued moderate economic expansion in Oregon, despite the tight labor market as was evident from the near-record low unemployment rate.

Full press release is available here.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Made in Oregon: A Profile of the State’s Manufacturing Sector

Oregon-made products have secured a spot on store shelves around the country, and even the world. Some of these products have obvious Oregon roots, tasty things like marionberry jam, cheese, fine wines, and beers that say ‘Oregon’ right on the label. Some Oregon-made products remain out of view, however. For example, components in the device you’re reading this article with might have been made right here in Oregon. Whether you can see it on the label or not, Oregon’s manufacturing sector produces products ranging from basic wooden pellets to precise aerospace parts. The diverse sector is a fundamental component of the state’s identity, and will remain so as it continues to grow.

A manufacturing establishment is defined as an establishment that mechanically, physically, or chemically transforms material, substances, or components into new products. In the third quarter of 2018, Oregon was home to 6,284 manufacturing establishments, providing the state with 198,000 jobs.

Oregon’s manufacturing sector is growing more quickly than the nation’s. Since its lowest employment level in February and March 2010, manufacturing employment in Oregon has grown by 23 percent compared with the nation’s 12 percent. Over the year, Oregon saw manufacturing growth of 2.6 percent, higher than the nation’s 2.0 percent. However, as of January 2019 manufacturing employment in Oregon is still 8,500 jobs below its pre-recession peak in July 2006.

On top of faster growth, Oregon’s manufacturing sector is also a larger component of the economy than it is for the nation. While manufacturing made up 8.5 percent of payroll employment in the United States in 2018, it made up 10.2 percent of Oregon’s employment.
To learn more about Oregon's manufacturing sector, read the full article written by Projections Economist Felicia Bechtoldt

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

February 2019 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.4 percent in February 2019. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in February included Washington (3.7%) and Hood River (3.8%). Only these three counties had unemployment rates at or below the national rate of 3.8 percent. Seven of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates below the statewide rate of 4.4 percent. 

Grant County registered the highest unemployment rate for the month at 8.7 percent. Other counties with some of the highest unemployment rates in February were Klamath (7.4%) and Harney (7.1%).

The February 2019 unemployment rates of all of Oregon’s counties were higher than they were in February 2018. The largest changes from the previous year were in Wheeler (+1.8%), Grant (+1.7%), and Gilliam (+1.6%).

Read the full press release here