Thursday, July 13, 2017

Job Stability and Instability in Oregon

In a typical quarter, about 30 percent of Oregon’s workers are in jobs that are considered not stable – they either recently began or will soon end. From the fourth quarter of 2015 through the third quarter of 2016 (the most recent data), an average of 525,035 people per quarter had jobs that were either new or ending (or both!) during the quarter they were counted. Adding to the mix is that job stability varies with the industry and time of year. A close look at the data shows that working Oregonians switch employers, industries, and careers with surprising frequency.

The natural resources and mining industry had the smallest share of stable jobs. This sector includes such seasonal industries as farming, fishing, and logging. Fewer than half of the jobs in the industry are stable. A job is counted as stable during a quarter if the employee also worked at least part of the previous and following quarters for the same employer. If this is the case, then the assumption is made that the employee worked all the reference quarter at the same job.

Stable jobs pay higher wages. In the summer quarter of 2016, stable jobs paid a median wage of $20 per hour; not stable jobs paid a median of $12.89 per hour. The median wage is the wage of the middle, or typical, worker. The smallest percent difference in wages between stable and not stable jobs was within the natural resources and mining industry (16.8%). This industry also had the smallest (37.3%) percentage of stable jobs that quarter. The largest percent difference in hourly wages between stable and not stable jobs was in professional and business services (87.4%).

Learn more about job stability and instability in "Double, Double Toil and... Job Change? Job Stability and Instability in Oregon" written by Regional Economist Erik Knoder and Special Projects Analyst Barbara Peniston.

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