Monday, July 1, 2013

Two-Fifths of Oregon's Job Vacancies Are Difficult to Fill

More than two-fifths (44%) of Oregon’s job vacancies in fall 2012 were reported by employers as “difficult to fill” according to a new report from the Oregon Employment Department. Health care had by far the most vacancies reported as difficult to fill. Manufacturing and trade, transportation, and utilities were also more likely to have difficulty filling vacancies.

The most common reasons employers cited for difficultly filling positions were: unfavorable working conditions (18%); lack of qualified candidates (18%); lack of applicants (14%); and lack of work experience (13%). However, the reasons employers cited varied by industry, occupation, education level, and wage level. For instance, unfavorable working conditions and a lack of qualified applicants were the top two reasons in health care, whereas in the manufacturing industry a lack of work experience and technical skills were the top two reasons.

The difficult-to-fill vacancies were more likely to require education beyond high school and much more likely to require previous work experience. The education levels for which employers had the most difficulty were positions requiring associate degrees and positions requiring graduate degrees. Overall, employers are looking for the “right” combination of education and experience for unique roles within their companies. These difficult-to-fill vacancies also offered higher wages on average than vacancies that weren’t reported as difficult to fill.

For more information, check out the full report by Employment Economist Jessica Nelson at

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