Monday, February 26, 2018

Oregon’s Social Assistance Industry

Social assistance is a unique industry group with jobs in private industry, both for profit and nonprofit establishments, as well as government. Each ownership category and type has carved out its own niche, offering invaluable services to Oregonians faced with a critical need.

The employment split between private industry and government hovered around 60/40 in 2016. Private industry’s 60 percent share included about 37,200 jobs while government employed close to 24,600. Nonprofits dominated private industry employment, while state government represented most but not quite all of the public sector’s social assistance jobs. Social assistance experienced rapid growth between 2006 and 2016, rising by about 19,600 jobs or 46 percent in 10 years. Growth peaked in 2015 when employment rose by 3,800 jobs or 7 percent. Private industry service providers grew by more than 11,400 jobs, an increase of 44 percent since 2006, while government gained about 8,200, rising by 50 percent.
Social assistance payrolls totaled $1.7 billion in 2016, but average pay was well below Oregon’s all industry average. Across all ownerships, social assistance wages averaged $27,210 in 2016, significantly below Oregon’s $49,467 all industries average. The private industry side of social assistance paid an average of $25,768 in 2016, with nonprofits averaging $27,822 and for profit establishments slightly lower, at $25,625. In government ownerships, social assistance paid an average of $29,394 in 2016.

To learn more about social assistance in Oregon, read the full article by regional economist Dallas Fridley

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