Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Oregon Careers Magazine Available at No Cost

We have recently released our Oregon Careers 2018 magazine aimed at the career planning needs of students. It contains information about how to select and prepare for a career. You can order hard copies of this magazine in English at no charge by filling an order form at or contacting (503) 947-1204.

The Spanish edition, Carreras en Oregon 2018, will be available online in early 2018 in the “Careers” section of

Careers magazine has an Activity Guide and a Teacher's Guide to the Activity Guide. The Activity Guide is an excellent tool to help students explore the magazine. It contains activities and exercises tied to sections in the magazine. The Teacher's Guide contains the answers to the exercises in the Activity Guide.

To learn more about other publications you can order, click on and see the "Posters & Brochures", "Occupations in Demand" and "STEM" sections.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

‘Tis the Season for Courier and Messenger Delivery Services

Even before the turkey hits the table, retailers and e-tailers alike work to entice holiday shoppers with deals. Whether bought in a store or fulfilled online, many seasonal gifts make their way to friends and family through delivery services.

The private couriers and messengers subsector shows a distinctive seasonal pattern. Over the past decade, couriers and messengers establishments have ramped up hiring in the fourth quarter, hitting an employment peak in December each year. In the past few years, December job totals have averaged 2,500 above annual employment. After the flurry of holiday deliveries, sector employment winds down and generally hits a low in either April or July.

The seasonal swing in employment became more pronounced from 2006 to 2016. The difference between peak (December) employment and the lowest employment month in the same year generally ranged between 1,200 and 1,700 jobs from 2006 to 2012. In 2013, the seasonal swing in payroll employment rose to 2,000, and continued to grow to 3,000 in 2014 and 2015. By 2016, the difference between monthly job highs and lows totaled 3,700.
Read more about couriers and messengers employment in the full article by Senior Economic Analyst Gail Krumenauer.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How much Does Snowfall Impact Oregon’s Winter Tourism Employment?

If we look at the relationship between Oregon’s winter leisure and hospitality employment and snowpack over the past several years we see no meaningful patterns. To put it another way, a snowy winter in the mountains doesn’t provide a boost to the broad leisure and hospitality sector. This is fairly surprising, as I am sure that many assume that snow sport recreation is a major driver of Oregon’s winter leisure and hospitality sector. This begs the question, what does drive winter leisure and hospitality employment in Oregon? It turns out that most of the variance in winter leisure and hospitality employment can be explained by broad economic trends in Oregon and across the nation. The business cycle is the best predictor, not the weather.

If we zoom in on the state’s ski resorts, a meaningful relationship between snowpack and employment emerges. Over the past 15 years, ski resort employment was positively correlated with snowpack; more snow translates into more jobs. This is not surprising as these businesses are directly impacted by snow. A strong snowpack and numerous “powder” days attract skiers and snowboarders both locally and from outside Oregon. Ski resort employment reached a new peak in 2017 with an average employment from January-April of around 2,500 jobs. This was during a relatively cold and snowy winter with snowpack nearly 12 percent higher than the 15-year average in the Central Cascades.
Although a major driver of ski resort employment, snowpack isn’t the only factor influencing the employment situation at Oregon’s ski resorts. Even when controlling for snowpack we see a positive correlation with Oregon’s population and economic output. More people moving to the state translate into more people skiing and more ski resort jobs. Although less significant, as Oregon’s economy improves from the recession we also see a rebound in ski resort employment. Skiing is a discretionary expense, a choice. Many folks feel more comfortable spending money on recreation when their financial situation is more stable. This helps to explain why there were more ski resort jobs and more hours worked in 2017 than the recording breaking snow year in 2008 during the depths of the previous recession.

Although we are expecting to see a moderate La NiƱa this winter that will likely bring average or above average snowpack to Oregon’s mountains, don’t expect to see that translate into a significant boost to the state’s leisure and hospitality sector. However, it would be a boost to local ski hills and the communities that support winter snow recreation, such as Bend, Sunriver, Sisters, Sandy, Ashland, Chemult, Baker City, Government Camp, and Rhododendron.

Read the full article by Karla Castillo and Damon Runberg

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

First off and most important: Happy Thanksgiving! We hope there is delicious food and the company of loved ones for all of you on Thanksgiving. May your travels be safe, your shopping trips fruitful, your football teams winners, and your weekend long. We are treating you with some fun facts about Thanksgiving. 

The number of occupied housing units across Oregon in 2016 ─ potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner.

The number of multigenerational households in Oregon in 2016. It is possible these households, consisting of three or more generations, will have to purchase large quantities of food to accommodate all the family members sitting around the table for the holiday feast, even if there are no guests.

244 million
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in the U.S. in 2016 according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics. That is up 4.5 percent from the number raised during 2015.

44.5 million
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in Minnesota in 2016. Minnesota is the top turkey producing state, followed by North Carolina (33.5 million), Arkansas (26.0 million), Indiana (19.5 million), Missouri (19.2 million) and Virginia (17.2 million). 

$25.8 million
The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys in 2016, with 99.9 percent of them coming from Canada and the remaining from France according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The United States ran a $13.7 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $159.4 million in sweet potatoes.

859 million pounds
The forecasted weight of cranberries produced in the U.S. in 2016. Wisconsin was estimated to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 521.0 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (estimated at 207.0 million pounds). Oregon, Washington and New Jersey were also estimated to have substantial production, ranging from 19.4 to 58.8 million pounds.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

October 2017 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Crook and Curry counties have registered the highest unemployment rates in October 2017 at 6.5 percent. Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.3 percent. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates include Washington and Hood River, each with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.

Nine of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates below the statewide unemployment rate of 4.3 percent and seven counties had unemployment rates at or below the national rate of 4.1 percent. Wallowa County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 1.1 percentage points, more than any other county. Other counties that saw a large improvement in their unemployment rates were Gilliam and Grant, where the unemployment rates improved by 1.0 percentage point over the year.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between October 2016 and October 2017. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+2.9%). The Willamette Valley (+2.4%), Portland (+2.0%), Southern Oregon (+1.8%), Eastern Oregon (+1.5%), and the Oregon Coast (+1.1%) also saw growth. 

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Oregon Adds 11,600 Jobs in October

In October, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment rose by 11,600 jobs, following a revised loss of 1,100 jobs in September. The gain in October was the largest monthly increase since 14,100 jobs were added in February 2017.

Monthly gains were concentrated in professional and business services, which added 5,300 jobs, and in leisure and hospitality, which added 3,800. Both of these industries rebounded from job losses within the prior two months. Three other industries each added at least 1,000 jobs in October: other services (+1,400 jobs); manufacturing (+1,000); and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+1,000). Retail trade cut 900 jobs, posting the biggest monthly job decline.

The big job gain in October, coupled with the upward revision to September, considerably boosted Oregon’s over-the-year growth rate. Since October 2016, Oregon has added 45,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, which equals an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent. Construction continues to lead the way with 9,400 jobs added, equaling 10.3 percent growth. The second fastest growing industry was transportation, warehousing and utilities (+3,400 jobs, or 5.6%).

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

Read the full statewide press release

Monday, November 13, 2017

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

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 18.6 percent compared with the nation’s 8.7 percent. However, as of September 2017 manufacturing employment in Oregon is still 16,200 jobs below its pre-recession peak in June 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 September 2017, it made up 10.2 percent of Oregon’s employment.

The largest detailed industry by far is the semiconductor and electronic components industry (29,900 jobs). It also pays far more on average than any other manufacturing industries ($142,000). Other high-paying industries on the list include electronic instrument manufacturing ($103,000) and aerospace product and parts manufacturing ($83,700).

True to Oregon’s long history in forestry, two of Oregon’s top industries are tied to our natural resources: veneer and engineered wood products (8,600 jobs) and sawmills and wood preservation (6,400 jobs). While employment in wood product manufacturing is but a fraction of what it was a few decades ago, these two industries combined play an influential role in Oregon’s manufacturing sector.

The share of manufacturing workers by gender has remained unchanged for the past 20 years. In 1997, about 73 percent of the manufacturing workforce was male, and 27 percent female. These shares were the same in 2016, and remained almost exactly the same throughout the past two decades.

Read the full article "Made in Oregon: A Profile of the State’s Manufacturing Sector" by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Employment among Oregon's Veterans

In 2016, the unemployment rate for veterans in Oregon was 6.3 percent according to the Current Population Survey. This was higher than Oregon’s overall unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Across the U.S., veterans had a lower unemployment rate of 4.3 percent.

Around 142,000 of the 151,000 veterans in the labor force were employed, with 117,000 being employed full time and 25,000 part time. About 9,000 veterans were unemployed, which accounted for 9.4 percent of the unemployed population (96,000) in the state. Over the last decade, unemployed veterans made up between 6.5 percent and 10.1 percent of the overall unemployed population in the state. 
In 2016, Oregon’s veterans earned a higher median income ($36,959) than nonveterans ($27,432). Education could be one of the factors influencing veterans’ higher median income. Among Oregon’s veterans ages 25 years and older, 41.6 percent have an associate’s degree or some college compared with 33.8 percent of nonveterans. About 5.3 percent of veterans don’t have a high school diploma, while 10.2 percent of nonveterans don’t have a high school diploma. 

Veterans are more likely to have a disability, but less likely to be in poverty than the general population. About 33.3 percent of Oregon’s veterans reported to have a service-connected disability, compared with 17.6 percent of the total civilian population. About 7.4 percent of veterans were in poverty compared with about 12.4 percent of the total civilian population.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Inflation’s Effect on Wages

Most Oregon’s counties had an increase in inflation-adjusted average wages from 2006 to 2016. Overall, the average wage for the entire state increased by $2,865 after adjusting for inflation. Most of the statewide increase was driven by the large gains in Washington and Multnomah counties. These two counties in the Portland metro area are home to nearly 1.4 million Oregonians (about one-third of the state’s population) and nearly $46 billion in payroll (about 50 percent of the state’s total).

Several of the top-gaining counties on a per-person basis are located in the Columbia Gorge. Sherman, Morrow, Hood River, and Wasco counties benefited from their agricultural bases and the expansion of agricultural suppliers and processors. Food manufacturing, wholesale trade, warehousing and transportation businesses have fueled wage growth.

Some counties with the larger losses were hit unusually hard in the Great Recession. Columbia and Linn counties lost many jobs in paper manufacturing and wood product manufacturing. Klamath County was doubly hit by the housing bust as local housing and mortgage businesses cut back and well as manufacturers supplying the national construction market.

Despite some losses, a majority of Oregon’s counties – 29 out of 36 – had 2016 wages that were higher than they were in 2006 even after adjusting for inflation. Even better news is that these counties are home to about 88 percent of the state’s population.

The original article was written by Regional Economist Erik Knoder

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Fast Facts

Happy Halloween! We're treating you with some fun facts related to Halloween festivities.

Share of people in the U.S. with costumes for their pets in 2017

The number of sugar and confectionery product manufacturing establishments in Oregon in 2016

Average Halloween spending per buyer in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey

Oregon's total number of gift and novelty stores in 2016, which includes seasonal Halloween costume stores

The 2016 population of potentially costumed Oregonians under age 15 in search of candy asking "trick or treat?"

The number of households statewide (2015) that children can pass by and/or visit while trick-or-treating

179 million
Estimated total number of people in the U.S. celebrating Halloween in 2017!

Wildfires Impact on September Employment Figures

September’s wildfires didn’t seem to have a noticeable impact on the statewide jobs and unemployment rate report. The fires did have a noticeable impact the local job reports in the Columbia Gorge, Central Oregon, and Southern Oregon. Leisure and hospitality businesses in these areas cut a combined 600 more jobs than they usually do in September. This sector includes restaurants, hotels, and other tourism related businesses. Since the wildfires and smoke coincided with the end of the tourism season, it is not possible to fully tell which jobs were lost due to the
unusual wildfires and smoke, and which jobs were cut as the usual tourism season ended.

The wildfires had no effect on unemployment rates in September. In order to be counted as unemployed in the statistics, an individual must not have a job during the reference week (the week of the month containing the 12th, which was September 10-16, 2017), but were available for a job and were making active efforts to find one. Individuals that have jobs but were temporarily absent from their workplace due to wildfires would be considered employed, as would workers whose normal work hours were reduced during the week.

Seasonal wildland firefighter jobs are often outside the scope of the monthly job growth figures. Figures for the increase in wildland firefighter jobs will be available in about three months.

Employment Department regional economists in Central Oregon, the Columbia Gorge, the Portland area, South Coast, and Southern Oregon provided more detailed information about wildfire employment impacts in their areas, which can be found here.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Where Do Workers that Speak English Less Than "Very Well" Work in Oregon?

In Oregon, about 123,000 workers speak English less than “very well” according to the American Community Survey responses collected from 2011 to 2015. This represents 7 percent of all Oregon workers. This group includes workers that don’t speak English, speak English “not well”, and speak English “well”. About 157,000 workers (9%) speak another language and speak English “very well,” while about 1.5 million workers (84%) speak only English.

The ability to speak English influences a worker’s ability to succeed. It affects the employment status, work status, earnings and the occupations the workers are in. The highest share of workers who speak English less than “very well” is in natural resources and mining industries with 28 percent (15,888 workers). This industry includes agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and mining. Other industries with a high share of workers that speak English less than “very well” are leisure and hospitality (12%, 21,148) and manufacturing (10%, 21,750).
Workers that speak English less than “very well” tend to be in occupations with lower education requirements. In the farming, fishing, and forestry occupational group, 44 percent of workers in Oregon (14,373) speak English less than “very well.” This occupational group includes agricultural workers; fishing and hunting workers; forest, conservation, and logging workers; and supervisors of farming, fishing and forestry workers. Other occupational groups with high concentrations of workers that speak English less than “very well” include:
  • building, grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (24%, 15,893), which include landscapers, janitors and maids;
  • production occupations (17%, 18,349), which include butchers, bakers, assemblers, and welders among others; and 
  • food preparation and serving related occupations (14%, 16,083), such as waitstaff, cooks, bartenders, and dishwashers.

Learn more about earnings of workers that speak English less than "very well" in the full article "Ability of Oregon Workers to Speak English Varies by Type of Job" by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

September 2017 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.6 percent in September 2017. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates include Washington (3.7%), Hood River (3.8%), and Multnomah (3.8%).

Grant County (6.4%) registered the highest rate for the month. Crook (6.3%), Curry (6.2%), and Josephine (6.1%) counties also had some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

Seven of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates below the statewide and national rate of 4.2 percent. Gilliam County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 1.7 percentage points, more than any other county. Other counties that saw a large improvement in their unemployment rates were Wallowa and Baker, where the unemployment rates improved by 1.2 and 1.1 percentage points, respectively, over the year.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between September 2016 and September 2017. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+3.0%). Portland (+1.9%), the Willamette Valley (+1.7%), Eastern Oregon (+1.4%), the Oregon Coast (+1.2%), and Southern Oregon (+0.8%) also saw growth.

Click here to see the press release for your county.