Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rural Oregon Jobs Profile

The Employment Department has released a new special report: The Employment Landscape of Rural Oregon. This is the second in a series of posts about several key takeaway points from the report.

Rural Oregon counties had 238,000 jobs in 2016. The 23 counties combined accounted for 13 percent of Oregon’s job total last year. About 180,000 rural jobs are in private sector industries and another 57,000 jobs are in government at the federal, state and local levels.

Many rural communities are heavily dependent on just a handful of industries. This makes them particularly vulnerable to localized economic shocks and can make it difficult for these communities to recover. In contrast, larger urban areas are less dependent on individual businesses or industries. A local shock in one industry can be overcome by gains in a different industry.

Rural Oregon was hit hard during the most recent recession because a large share of its employment base was concentrated in wood product manufacturing. When the national housing bubble burst, the demand for manufactured wood products was greatly diminished. More than 40 percent of rural Oregon employment is concentrated in natural resources, leisure and hospitality (tourism), and government. Together those three sectors make up around 27 percent of the employment in urban Oregon. Many of the major industry sectors in rural communities continue to struggle, while the hot industries across the state, such as construction, professional and business services, and information are more heavily concentrated in cities.
For more information about rural Oregon, see the full report.

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