Monday, May 4, 2015

More Vacancies and Higher Wages Offered in Winter 2015

Oregon Businesses reported 39,400 vacancies in winter 2015, an increase of 6,600 vacancies from the prior year. The growing number of vacancies reflects the strengthening labor market across Oregon in the past year. The average hourly wage offered for job vacancies was $17.53, the highest in the two-year history of the quarterly Oregon Job Vacancy Survey.

The Oregon Job Vacancy Survey now has improved geographic detail. Vacancy data will be published for nine areas around the state, aligning with Oregon’s re-designed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act local areas.

There were about three unemployed per job vacancy in Oregon during the last four quarters, a pretty low level according to Jessica Nelson, an employment economist with the Oregon Employment Department. The unemployed-to-job openings ratio is low in the rest of the country, too. “Nationally, that unemployed to job vacancy ratio is down to two unemployed per job vacancy, and that is about as low as it tends to go over the history of that series.”

Oregon businesses may need to focus on their recruitment strategies, according to Nelson. “They may have a tougher time recruiting in a tighter labor market with not as much surplus labor available.”

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