Thursday, February 7, 2019

Regional Comparisons of Employer-Provided Benefits in Oregon

Our recently released report about employer-provided benefits in Oregon details the most common health, retirement, leave, pay, and other offerings private employers extended to their full-time and part-time employees in June 2018.

Among the key findings: private companies in Portland and the Willamette Valley tended to have the largest shares of employers offering benefits. In addition, larger shares of firms with at least 50 payroll employees in Oregon offered benefits than the smallest firms (2 to 9 employees).

There's some interplay between these themes. Portland and the Willamette Valley have the largest concentrations of the the largest firms. Industries like leisure and hospitality and natural resources, which tend to have smaller shares of employers offering benefits, also tend to be more concentrated in more tourism-reliant and/or rural areas such as the Oregon Coast and Eastern Oregon. Relatedly, the Oregon Coast and Eastern Oregon are the regions with the smallest shares of employers offering benefits.
Even with these influencing factors, in many cases the top line regional variation in benefit offerings seems relatively small. Looking, for example, at retirement, annual pay raises, unpaid leave, and paid vacation, at most six out of 10 employers extend the option, and at a minimum four out of 10 employers in a region offer them.

Wider differences emerge when we also consider that private employers are far more likely to offer benefits to full-time employees than their part-time counterparts. The most commonly offered single benefit in Oregon in June 2018 was employee medical insurance. More than half (57%) of all private employers offered this to full-time workers, while 10 percent extended the option to part-time workers.
Returning to the Portland vs. Coast comparison, seven out of 10 employers in the state's largest metropolitan area offered employee medical insurance, compared with four out of 10 coastal companies. In Eastern Oregon, one-third of employers offered employee medical to full-timers. Portland employers were three times more likely to offer employee medical insurance to part-time employees than companies on the coast or in Eastern Oregon. Differences like these can also be found in family medical insurance and vision coverage, but the trend isn't universal. Employers in Eastern Oregon and along the coast are more likely to offer SEP or SIMPLE retirement options to full-time and part-time employees than companies in Portland or the Willamette Valley.

More information about employer-provided benefits in Oregon -- including interactive graphs, a podcast, and the full report -- can be found on the benefits page at

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