Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Retail Trade: A Staple of Oregon’s Economy

Whether it is food, apparel, cars, or music, Oregon's diverse retail trade industry plays a vital role in the state's economy. This industry includes businesses engaged in reselling merchandise or services in small quantities to the general public. Retail establishments can take the form of a physical store or a "nonstore" where business is conducted via the internet, broadcasting, door-to-door, or vending machines.

The retail industry employed 196,000 Oregonians in 2008, 13.6 percent of the state's private employment. Total payroll was almost $5 billion. Retail's average annual wage in 2008 was about $25,500, compared to the statewide average of nearly $40,000 across all private industries.

Areas with larger populations tend to make up a greater share of the state's retail employment. This is not surprising; the more people living in an area, the greater the demand for consumer goods such as food, clothes, gasoline, and furniture.

There are roughly an even number of men and women employed in Oregon's retail industry. Overall, women comprise nearly 51 percent of workers and men 49 percent. Recent average monthly earnings for men in this industry in Oregon were $2,828.

The full article, which contains a more in-depth analysis of Oregon's retail trade industry, as well as the current outlook for retailers across the state, was written by Workforce Analyst Jill Cuyler.

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