Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Butchers Bring Home the Bacon...and the Beef

In Oregon, butchers and meat cutters is a fairly small occupation. There are fewer than 1,500 of them, which means they account for only about 0.1 percent of the state's workforce. This ratio holds at the national level, as the 130,700 butchers and meat cutters in the United States account for less than 0.1 percent of the workforce.

Despite its small size, this occupation is expected to see healthy growth during the next 10 years. From 2010 to 2020, the number of butchers and meat cutters in Oregon is expected to grow about 16 percent, the same as the statewide average rate for all occupations. The total number of job openings is projected to be somewhat higher than the statewide average, with about 23 brand new positions each year and 46 job openings from people who retire or change careers.

Nearly three-quarters of Oregon's butchers and meat cutters work for a grocery store. Another 17 percent work in other types of retail establishments. The remaining 9 percent of the workers are employed by a grocery wholesaler or food manufacturer.

Butchers and meat cutters are located all around the state, with the largest number of workers in the Portland metropolitan area. Their geographic distribution generally follows the average distribution of workers in the state. The only exception is in Southern Oregon: about 10 percent of Oregon's butchers and meat cutters work in Jackson or Josephine County, an area that accounts for only about 6 percent of the state's workforce.

The average entry-level wage for butchers and meat cutters is about $10 an hour, which is somewhat higher than Oregon's minimum wage. The average wage is $16 an hour, and the highest-paid workers make more than $22 an hour.

You can get more information on butchers in the full article, written by Skills Analyst Brooke Jackson-Winegardner.

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