Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Survey Counts Jobs in Natural Resources

As a part of our ongoing green jobs research grant, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) partnered with the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oregon Field Office (NASS) to survey employers in Oregon's natural resources industries. These industries include: crop production; animal production; forestry and logging; fishing, hunting, and trapping; and agriculture and forestry support activities.

This survey provides valuable information, because the bulk of OED data comes from employers reporting data as a part of Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax records. Since many natural resources employers are exempt from the UI tax, we have limited information about employment in these industries. Until now!

Here are a few key findings from our new report entitled "The Greening of Oregon's Workforce: Natural Resource Jobs and Employer Needs":
  • Oregon had an estimated 122,730 workers in the natural resources industries in 2009. Nearly two-thirds of all jobs were in crop production.
  • Oregon's natural resources jobs are spread across 102 different occupations. However, the 75,000 farmworkers working with either crops or animals account for three out of every five jobs.
  • Employers reported more than 18,500 green jobs in the natural resources industries. That translates to approximately three of every 20 jobs as a green job, a higher rate than was found in our original green jobs survey of all industries in 2008.

  • Few employers reported any significant difference in the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for green jobs compared to non-green jobs.

  • Roughly 10 percent of employers in the natural resources industries reported difficulty finding qualified workers.
A brief article describing the results of the survey is available here, and the full survey report will be released soon on

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