Monday, October 5, 2015

Help Wanted in Oregon: 43,000 Job Vacancies this Summer

Today the Oregon Employment Department published the latest quarterly estimates of job vacancies for Oregon and nine sub-state areas.

Oregon's privately owned businesses reported 43,000 job vacancies this summer. As is normally the case, health care and social assistance had the largest number of vacancies (8,300). Leisure and hospitality and retail trade -- two big summer hiring industries -- also reported large numbers of vacancies. Some occupations with the most job openings in these industries included nursing assistants, registered nurses, personal care aides, retail salespersons, cashiers, and cooks.

"Middle wage" jobs were on the rise. The number of job vacancies that paid between $15 and $25 per hour rose sharply compared with last summer.

Businesses also reported greater difficulty filling vacancies this summer. Almost two-thirds (65%) of vacancies were difficult to fill this summer; since 2013 the difficult-to-fill share has generally been closer to one-half of all vacancies.

The number of unemployed Oregonians rose slightly over the summer, while the number of job vacancies pulled back from a record high in the spring. As a result, the ratio of unemployed persons to vacancies rose from 2-to-1 in the spring back to 3-to-1 in the summer. Oregon's unemployed-to-vacancy ratio was also 3-to-1 for most of 2014. Nationwide there are two unemployed persons per job vacancy.

The geographic area from Portland to Eugene accounted for roughly seven out of 10 vacancies in the summer. That's in line with the area's shares of statewide population and statewide employment. Sub-state vacancy totals can be seen by clicking on the bars in the graph below.

More information about Oregon's job vacancies can be found in the Job Vacancy Survey category on the publications page at

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