Friday, October 27, 2017

Where Do Workers that Speak English Less Than "Very Well" Work in Oregon?

In Oregon, about 123,000 workers speak English less than “very well” according to the American Community Survey responses collected from 2011 to 2015. This represents 7 percent of all Oregon workers. This group includes workers that don’t speak English, speak English “not well”, and speak English “well”. About 157,000 workers (9%) speak another language and speak English “very well,” while about 1.5 million workers (84%) speak only English.

The ability to speak English influences a worker’s ability to succeed. It affects the employment status, work status, earnings and the occupations the workers are in. The highest share of workers who speak English less than “very well” is in natural resources and mining industries with 28 percent (15,888 workers). This industry includes agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and mining. Other industries with a high share of workers that speak English less than “very well” are leisure and hospitality (12%, 21,148) and manufacturing (10%, 21,750).
Workers that speak English less than “very well” tend to be in occupations with lower education requirements. In the farming, fishing, and forestry occupational group, 44 percent of workers in Oregon (14,373) speak English less than “very well.” This occupational group includes agricultural workers; fishing and hunting workers; forest, conservation, and logging workers; and supervisors of farming, fishing and forestry workers. Other occupational groups with high concentrations of workers that speak English less than “very well” include:
  • building, grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (24%, 15,893), which include landscapers, janitors and maids;
  • production occupations (17%, 18,349), which include butchers, bakers, assemblers, and welders among others; and 
  • food preparation and serving related occupations (14%, 16,083), such as waitstaff, cooks, bartenders, and dishwashers.

Learn more about earnings of workers that speak English less than "very well" in the full article "Ability of Oregon Workers to Speak English Varies by Type of Job" by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt.

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