Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Slow Job Growth and Slowing Population Growth in Oregon

Each month the Research Division of the Oregon Employment Department publishes articles on current trends in the labor market and workforce issues. Our newest set of articles were just published on QualityInfo. Here's a sampling of articles for you:

Slow Job Growth
Job growth following the recession has been excruciatingly slow. One measure of job growth shows that Oregon's economy lost 147,900 jobs in the recession. In the following 25 months through December 2011, the state added back just one-fourth of those jobs. Stagnant job growth and declines in construction, financial activities, and government continue to stifle job growth. What's more, most employers indicate no intention of adding new staff anytime soon. Read more about this key workforce challenge in the full article, co-authored by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks and Economist Gail Krumenauer.

Slowing Population Growth
Regional Economist Amy Vander Vliet's article tells us that Portland's job growth is still below pre-recession norms. The five-county area added 16,670 residents in 2011. That's about the size of Pendleton, Coos Bay, or Troutdale. While impressive, it's far fewer than the 24,000 residents the region gained annually in the years prior to the recession. In 2011, net migration nearly ground to a halt. People might still be uncertain about the economy and less willing to move without a job lined up, especially to an area as hard hit as Portland. 

The sharp decline in net migration is true at the statewide level as well. A second article on population growth shows that net migration has dominated Oregon's yearly population change for the last 30 years. In general, net migration into Oregon has followed the boom and bust of the overall economy.

Are you interested in receiving the full Oregon Labor Trends publication? You can request the print edition with our publications order form!

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