Friday, January 8, 2016

Made in Oregon: A Profile of the State’s Manufacturing Sector

Oregon’s manufacturing sector is growing more quickly than the nation’s. Since December 2009, manufacturing employment in Oregon has grown by 14.4 percent compared with the nation’s 7.4 percent. Over the year, Oregon saw manufacturing growth of 2.4 percent, higher than the nation’s 0.7 percent.

All of Oregon’s eight measured broad manufacturing industries grew over the year. The top five are shown in the table above. Notice that each of Oregon’s top five broad industries grew more quickly than its national equivalent. Oregon’s top manufacturing industry, computer and electronic component manufacturing, grew at 1.4 percent compared with just 0.1 percent nationally. In addition, computer and electronic component manufacturing made up 19.8 percent of Oregon’s manufacturing jobs and 8.6 percent of jobs across the nation. In other words, Oregon’s biggest manufacturing industry is growing faster than the industry across the United States, and makes up more jobs. 

Another important industry in Oregon is wood product manufacturing, which made up 12.3 percent of manufacturing jobs in October 2015. It grew at 4.1 percent compared with the nation’s 1.7 percent. Nationally, wood product manufacturing only made up 3.1 percent of manufacturing jobs.

A more detailed industry analysis shows just how diverse the manufacturing sector is. The largest detailed industry by far is the semiconductor and electronic components industry. It also pays far more than any of the other top industries. Other high-paying industries on the list include electronic instrument manufacturing and aerospace product and parts manufacturing.

True to Oregon’s long history in forestry, two of Oregon’s top industries are tied to our natural resources: veneer and engineered wood products (8,200 jobs) and sawmills and wood preservation (6,400 jobs). While employment in wood product manufacturing is but a fraction of what it was a few decades ago, these two industries combine for an influential role in Oregon’s manufacturing sector.

Two relatively low-paying industries on the top 10 list of largest industry employers are the frozen food manufacturing industry and the bread and bakery product manufacturing industry. While these industries make up a large chunk of Oregon’s manufacturing sector, the jobs paid an average annual wage considerably lower than the statewide average in 2014 ($46,500).

To learn more about employment in manufacturing industries in Oregon, read Economist Will Burchard's article:Made in Oregon: A Profile of the State’s Manufacturing Sector.

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