Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Hiring in Oregon

Summer is a busy time of year for job seekers and employers. Waves of fresh graduates, students on summer break, and new workers moving to the state flood the labor market like the cool waters of the Pacific cover Oregon’s beaches at high tide. Employers scoop up many of these workers, hiring more new workers during the warm months of July, August, and September than any other time of the year. Some new hires remain at their jobs like water in a tide pool, while others working seasonal jobs flow back to school or to other jobs as the wave of new hires subsides.

During an average year, more than 1 million people land a job with an Oregon employer they haven’t worked for recently. The exact number varies from year to year as more people are hired when the economy is stronger and fewer people are hired when the economy is weaker (although hundreds of thousands of people still find jobs, even during recessions). The number of new hires has also changed over time as the structure of the economy has changed.

The seasonal patterns of hiring are very predictable. Hiring is slowest during the winter, increases significantly in the spring, reaches a peak during the summer, and starts slowing again in the fall. Roughly 31 percent of people hired each year are hired during the summer months. In summer 2015, there were nearly 334,000 new hires.

Slightly less than one-third (31%) of summer new hires in 2015 were workers under the age of 25 years. Since just one-eighth (12%) of jobs at the beginning of summer were held by young workers, it looks like summer jobs go disproportionately to younger workers. There is some truth to that because while the share of jobs held by young workers doesn’t change much during the year, the share of young new hires is largest during the summer and smallest in the winter (25% in winter 2015).

New hires are more likely to be young people because they tend to be less settled in their careers, have higher turnover, and are more likely to be unemployed. A lot of older workers are hired each summer too. Out of the 334,000 new hires in summer 2015, 104,000 were under age 25 years, 188,000 were age 25 to 54, and the remaining 42,000 were age 55 and over.

To learn about the industries that do most of the summer hiring, read State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks' article "Summer Hiring". 

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