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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Substance Abuse Counselors and Social Workers – Making a Difference in Our Communities

With the drug abuse epidemic affecting communities across the U.S., substance abuse counselors and social workers are on the front lines of providing help to individuals with mental, emotional, and substance abuse problems. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. In Oregon, there were 506 deaths caused by drug overdoses during the same year, which was more than double the number of deaths in 2000, when 208 deaths were caused by drug overdoses.

Mental health and substance abuse social workers and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors play a vital role in many people’s lives as they help people find customized solutions to their problems with addiction and substance abuse. They develop specialized treatment plans based on patient histories, clinical experience, and research. They assist individuals in overcoming dependencies, monitor the progress of their patients, and help family members to assist them in understanding and supporting the patient.

There are two types of mental health and substance abuse social work: clinical and non-clinical. Both are important. Clinical work includes mental health diagnosis and addressing issues like trauma, substance abuse, and family dysfunction. Non-clinical social workers impact lives in ways like policy analysis, rehabilitation services, or program implementation. They are also qualified for some types of counseling, such as conflict resolution or emotional health. Due to the sensitive nature of the issues they deal with, mental health and substance abuse social workers must receive specialized training and are often licensed.

In 2017, wages for mental health and substance abuse social workers varied from a starting wage of $13.25 per hour to $31.64 at the higher end of the scale. The median hourly wage for this occupation was $21.60 in 2017. For substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, wages were between $15.07 and $37.24 with a median hourly wage of $18.94.


Learn more about substance abuse counselors and social workers in the full article written by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Oregon’s Solid Job Growth and Low Unemployment Rate Continue in March

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in February and March. For 15 consecutive months, the rate has been close to 4.1 percent, its lowest level since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate was also 4.1 percent in both February and March. The economy continues to expand as reflected by record highs in Oregon’s civilian labor force (2,132,000 individuals) and total employment (2,043,000 individuals).

In March, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 4,200 jobs, following a revised gain of 700 jobs in February. Recent growth was somewhat stronger than during much of 2016 and 2017 when growth averaged 3,700 jobs per month.

In March, retail trade added 2,400 jobs, due to stronger hiring patterns than normal during the first three months of the year. These gains followed somewhat lackluster holiday hiring in retail at the end of 2017. In the past 12 months, the retail components adding the most jobs were motor vehicle and parts dealers (+1,000 jobs) and food and beverage stores (+1,000 jobs).


Manufacturing rebounded in March, adding 1,200 jobs, following a loss of 900 in February. Oregon’s manufacturing sector is growing, adding 4,200 jobs over the past 12 months. Durable goods manufacturing picked up the pace of hiring in recent months. Its growth was led by computer and electronic product manufacturing, which added 2,100 jobs over the past 12 months.

Professional and business services was the only other major industry with a notable over-the-month job change in March. It added 800 jobs, putting this large industry back on a track of modest expansion. Within the past 12 months it added 2,800 jobs, or 1.2 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 41,000 jobs, or 2.2 percent, since March 2017. Oregon is adding jobs faster than the U.S. rate of 1.5 percent.

See the latest industry employment estimates in the full press release

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

It Takes Two (or More): Oregon’s Multiple Jobholders in 2017

In 2017, 116,000 Oregonians held more than one job in addition to their primary job and were considered to be multiple jobholders. The multiple-jobholding rate – the proportion of multiple jobholders among all employed workers – was 5.7 percent, which was above the U.S. rate of 4.9 percent. Oregon’s multiple-jobholding rate reached a recent high of 6.7 percent in 2012, and was as low as 5.2 percent in 2004. Multiple jobholding has generally become rarer in Oregon and the U.S. since 1995. Research shows that people are less likely to take on a second job than they were in the past.

Oregon workers were more likely to hold more than one job at a time than our national counterparts, a trend dating back at least two decades. Oregon’s multiple job holding rate has been higher than the U.S. every year since 1994, with the brief exception of 2004. Oregon’s rate climbed from 2009 through 2012 before falling to 5.4 percent in 2016. In 2017, Oregon’s multiple jobholding rate began increasing again to 5.7 percent. 


Economic conditions certainly affect whether or not an individual works more than one job, but there is no clear association between the multiple-jobholding rate and the business cycle. That is because fewer jobs are available during recessions, right when more people need a second job to help meet their expenses. During expansions, increased income and looser credit constraints mean fewer people need a second job to meet expenses. These factors seem to cancel each other out on the whole, which is why multiple job holding rates don’t rise or fall significantly with the business cycle.

Most people working more than one job say they are doing so in order to earn extra money (38.1%), to meet expenses, or to pay off debt (25.6%). Another 17.6 percent of multiple jobholders report that their main reason for working a second job is because they enjoy it, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in an article about Multiple Jobholding Over the Past Two Decades. So working more than one job is thought to serve both economic and noneconomic purposes.

Working two or more jobs tends to be a temporary situation for most workers. Every month, more than 30 percent of multiple job holders return to working just one job at a time.

Read the full article written by Economist Anna Johnson

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Oregon’s Forestry and Logging Industry

Oregon is one of the world’s great tree-growing areas. The state’s soils and climate provide ideal conditions to grow such commercially viable species as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. Forests cover more than 30 million of Oregon’s 62 million acres – almost half of the state’s landmass.

The Oregon Department of Forestry estimates logging harvests totaled 3.9 billion board feet in 2016. While much of this timber feeds Oregon’s wood products industry, creating jobs and income, many jobs are also created planting, growing, and harvesting this resource. According to the Oregon Employment Department’s covered employment statistics, the subsector’s 757 firms employed 9,668 people statewide and added $539 million in payroll to Oregon’s economy in 2016.

Employment was in slow decline between 2005 and 2009 and has since leveled off, varying seasonally in a band around 9,000 to 10,000 jobs. Of the 2016 annual average total, 6,327 are employed in the private sector while 3,341 are employed in government. Most of the government employment is in federal government at 3,148 while the rest is in state government. Forestry and logging is a highly seasonal industry. Employment generally grows throughout the spring and peaks in August. Employment often stabilizes for a month or two in the fall before dropping off as winter rains begin.
Learn more about Oregon's forestry and logging industry in the article written by Lane County's Regional Economist Brian Rooney

Monday, April 2, 2018

Oregon Businesses Report 49,500 Winter Job Vacancies

The Employment Department’s latest job vacancy survey shows Oregon’s private employers reported 49,500 job vacancies in winter 2018. They reported a similar level of job vacancies (50,600) the previous winter.

While the total number of vacancies remained stable over the year, there was a notable increase in the number of job vacancies with “other” education requirements. These job openings required some certification or license in addition to a high school diploma, but not an associate, bachelor’s, or advanced degree. Vacancies with other education requirements increased from 2,900 in winter 2017 to 7,300 during winter 2018. They included a diverse group of occupations, such as electricians, nursing assistants, automotive service technicians, firefighters, physical therapists, truck drivers, and plumbers. This category of vacancies paid well above average, $24.36 per hour compared with $16.44 for all job openings.
Job vacancies with postsecondary certifications and other education requirements tend to be more difficult to fill than other openings. Businesses are more likely to report difficulty finding qualified candidates or applicants with proper certifications for these job vacancies. These types of vacancies are also less likely hard-to-fill than others because of unfavorable working conditions or low wages.
Difficult-to-fill vacancies with a lack of qualified candidates or lack of certification may be an area where new or strengthened workforce training, educational programs, or other intervention might ease some business difficulty finding workers. More detailed information about these and similar types of job vacancies can be found in this article.

More information about all of Oregon’s job vacancies, including quarterly and annual indicators for Oregon and sub-state areas, can be found at QualityInfo.org under the Job Vacancy Survey section of the Publications page.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Oregon’s Job Growth Fifth Fastest Among the States

Oregon had the fifth fastest job growth among the states from January 2017 to January 2018. Adding 50,600 jobs for a growth rate of 2.7 percent, Oregon’s solid job growth was slower than first ranked Utah (+3.1%) and neighboring Idaho, Nevada, and Washington, which tied for second with growth rates of 2.8 percent. California ranked seventh with a growth rate of 2.4 percent.

Looking at job growth rankings by industry sector shows that many areas of Oregon’s economy were adding jobs at a fast pace. Four sectors took gold, silver, or bronze in their race to add jobs: other services; private education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and financial activities.

The ambiguously named other services sector grew 5.0 percent in Oregon, enough to earn first place among the states for job growth in that sector. Other services include businesses involved in repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and membership associations and organizations. Oregon’s private education and health services sector added jobs at a rate of 4.4 percent over the past year. Only Nevada saw faster growth in this sector, adding jobs at a rate of 5.1 percent. Leisure and hospitality’s job growth rate of 4.8 percent was the second fastest among the states. It followed Utah, where leisure and hospitality grew 6.0 percent. Financial activities in Oregon added jobs at a rate of 3.0 percent, fast enough to tie for third place with New Mexico behind Idaho (5.2%) and Arizona (3.4%).

Read more about Oregon's job growth in the article written by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

February 2018 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Wheeler County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 2.8 percent in February 2018. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in February include Gilliam (2.9%) and Benton (3.1%). Grant County registered the highest unemployment rate for the month at 7.0 percent.

Thirteen 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 1.6 percentage points, more than any other county. Deschutes County saw its unemployment rate increase the most of any county over the past year, 0.6 percentage point.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between February 2017 and February 2018. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+3.1%). Southern Oregon (+2.5%), the Willamette Valley (+1.8%), the Portland area (+1.6%), and Eastern Oregon (+1.1%) also saw growth. The Oregon Coast saw a slight job gain of 0.2 percent.
To learn more about the employment situation for your county, click here. To see the full press release, click here.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Breaking the Mold: Nontraditional Jobs for Women

The Department of Labor Women’s Bureau categorizes occupations into traditional and nontraditional based on the percentage of women employed in those occupations. Traditional or female-dominated occupations are those in which women make up 75 percent or more of the total employed in that occupation. Nontraditional or male-dominated occupations are those in which women represent 25 percent or less of total employment. According to data from the American Community Survey, 47 percent of Oregon’s employment was in occupations dominated by one gender in 2016. Thirty-nine percent of employed women worked in a traditional occupation, while just 5 percent worked in a nontraditional occupation.

Many of the most gender-segregated occupations made up a relatively small portion of Oregon’s total employment, but both traditional and nontraditional jobs made it into the top 10 occupations by employment in 2016. For traditional occupations, secretaries and administrative assistants had the highest employment with more than 48,000 employed, 95 percent of which were women. Other popular traditional occupations in Oregon include teaching, nursing, childcare, and social work. On the nontraditional side, driver/sales workers and truck drivers had the highest employment at nearly 53,000 employed, just 9 percent of whom were women. Production and construction-related occupations and software development are other nontraditional occupations with high employment in Oregon.
To learn more about nontraditional jobs, read the full article written by workforce analyst Emily Starbuck

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Oregon’s Economy Remains Strong—Adds 2,700 Jobs in February

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January and February. For 14 consecutive months, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been close to 4.1 percent, its lowest level since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate was also 4.1 percent in both January and February.

In February, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 2,700 jobs, following a revised gain of 4,900 jobs in January. Three major industries each added 1,000 jobs or more: retail trade (+1,800 jobs), construction (+1,000), and health care and social assistance (+1,000). These gains were partially offset by losses of 1,100 jobs in private educational services, 900 in professional and business services, and 700 in manufacturing.

Payroll employment grew by 43,700 jobs, or 2.3 percent, in the most recent 12 months. In that time, gains were fastest in construction (+7,400 jobs, or 7.8%), other services (+3,200 jobs, or 5.1%), and leisure and hospitality (+9,700 jobs, or 4.8%). Meanwhile, growth in professional and business services slowed dramatically, as it added only 2,000 jobs in the past 12 months. The gain of only 0.8 percent was much slower than its average annual growth rate of 4.0 percent from mid-2010 through mid-2016.


Over-the-year job growth numbers for all states were released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 12th. Most Oregon industries ranked high in growth when compared with other states. Oregon’s total nonfarm employment grew 2.7 percent from January 2017 to January 2018. That was the fifth fastest job growth among the states, following Utah (3.1%), and Idaho, Nevada, and Washington (each at 2.8%). Oregon’s private sector tied with Idaho for the second-fastest job growth (behind Utah). Oregon industries placing in the top three include other services (1st), private education and health services (2nd behind Nevada), leisure and hospitality (2nd behind Utah), and financial activities, which tied for third with New Mexico (behind Idaho and Arizona).

The full press release on Oregon's employment in February is available here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Get to Work! How Oregonians Commute to Work

Most Oregonians work in the same county that they live in. However, 20 percent of Oregonians work outside the county they live in. And in a few Oregon counties, about half the workers leave their home to work. Moving half the workforce out – and back into – a community every day puts an unusually large amount of pressure on local transportation systems.

Clackamas County has the largest population leaving the county to work every day, with 91,000 workers. That’s 48 percent of the workers living in Clackamas County. For context, that’s larger than the entire working population living in the Bend metro region. The vast bulk of those commuting workers are traveling to other counties within the Portland region. By contrast, in neighboring Multnomah County only 18 percent of the workers commute outside of the county.

Two smaller counties at the edge of the Portland region have relatively high numbers of commuters. Columbia County (49%) at the northern end of the Portland region and Yamhill County (35%) at the southwest edge. These are both rural economies with relatively smaller populations compared with the rest of the Portland region. Polk County has the majority of its workforce leaving the county to work. West Salem is in Polk County, while the rest of the City of Salem is in Marion County, dividing the second largest city in Oregon between two counties.

To learn more about Oregon commuters, read the full article written by workforce analyst Christian Kaylor

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

January 2018 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 2.9 percent in January 2018. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in January include Wheeler (3.0%) and Hood River (3.2%).

Eastern and Southern Oregon had higher unemployment rates in January 2018, some of which were still at or close to their record low unemployment rates since 1990. Grant County registered the highest unemployment rate for the month at 6.7 percent.

Sixteen of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide and national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. Harney County saw its unemployment rate increase over the year by 0.5 percentage point. All other counties in the state saw improvements in the unemployment rate over the past year. Wheeler County improved 1.4 percentage points, more than any other county.
To learn more about the employment situation for your county, click here. To see the full press release, click here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Oregon Adds 5,000 Jobs in January

In January, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 5,000 jobs, following a revised gain of 9,800 jobs in December. Three major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs: private educational services (+1,100 jobs), construction (+1,000), and manufacturing (+800). These gains were partially offset by a loss of 700 jobs in leisure and hospitality. Health care and social assistance added 2,300 jobs above the gain due to a reclassification of home care workers. 

Payroll employment grew by 2.7 percent in the most recent 12 months. Between January 2017 and January 2018 Oregon added 50,600 jobs. Recent estimates of payroll employment indicate an acceleration in job growth, led by construction which added 7,500 jobs in that time. Three other industries posted rapid growth faster than 4 percent: private educational services (+2,800 jobs, or 7.9%), other services (+3,100 jobs, or 5.0%), and leisure and hospitality (+9,700 jobs, or 4.8%). Meanwhile two industries cut jobs: information (-100 jobs, or -0.3%) and wholesale trade (-600 jobs, or -0.8%).


Oregon’s unemployment rate has been at an historical low and stable for more than a year, remaining at 4.1 percent in January and December. Annual revisions to labor force data show Oregon’s unemployment rate between 4.1 percent and 4.2 percent for all 13 months between January 2017 and January 2018. Oregon’s unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is the lowest unemployment rate in the comparable historical series which dates back to 1976.

You can find more press release documents on www.QualityInfo.org.