Monday, July 3, 2017

Oregon Businesses Report Record 62,625 Vacancies in Spring

Private businesses in Oregon continued their strong hiring demand this spring. They had 62,600 job openings at any given time in the second quarter, the largest quarterly total since we began asking them in 2013.

Here's another sign of a strong labor market: the ratio of unemployed persons to job vacancies hit a record low in Oregon. In spring 2013, there were four unemployed Oregonians per job vacancy in the state. That dropped to a 1-to-1 ratio in spring, and some regions of the state actually had fewer unemployed persons than job openings. Given this, it's probably not surprising that businesses reported having difficulty filling 68 percent of all job vacancies, the highest share reported.

As is usually the case, health care and social assistance reported the most vacancies of any industry (11,300). Job openings included a variety of roles within the industry, including registered nurses, personal care aides, rehabilitation counselors, managers, receptionists, physicians and their assistants, and payroll clerks.

Leisure and hospitality vacancies bounced back up in spring after relatively smaller job opening totals in fall and winter. Construction  posted its highest quarterly job vacancy total (7,800) in the midst of continued, rapid employment growth.

Even though the minimum wage has increased, the bottom of the pay scale (at or just above minimum wage) is not where we see the most growth in job vacancies. The total number of job openings paying less than $15 per hour changed little over the year. Meanwhile, the share paying between $15 and $25 per hour grew from one-fourth of all job vacancies in spring 2016 to one-third of the total in spring 2017. 

Job vacancies for nine sub-state areas are available by clicking on the columns in the graph below.

More information about Oregon's job vacancies can be found in the Job Vacancy Survey section on the Publications page of 

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