Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Serving Up Summer Jobs

Oregon has been adding nearly 18,000 farm jobs and 56,000 nonfarm private-sector jobs from winter to summer for the past three years, making it fairly easy for teens and others to pick up a summer job. Industries adding many summer jobs in Oregon include agriculture, leisure and hospitality, construction, retail trade, and temporary help services. Popular occupations added in the summer include farmworkers, waiters and waitresses, construction laborers, cashiers, and groundskeepers.

Despite agriculture generating a far smaller share of jobs than it did historically, it is still the number one industry for creating summer jobs in Oregon. Over the past three years agriculture added an average of nearly 18,000 direct jobs from winter to summer (January-March versus July-September). Agriculture provides about 49,000 jobs in the winter, which means an employment increase of more than one-third from winter to summer. Farmworkers and laborers for crops, nurseries, and greenhouses is by far the most-common occupation in agriculture. Being a farmworker requires physical strength and mobility but doesn’t require extensive education or training. Accordingly, the occupation has few barriers to entry and usually pays a fairly low wage, about $13 per hour on average.

The nonfarm industry with the largest gain from winter to summer is usually accommodation and food services, which is part of the broader leisure and hospitality industry. The seasonal factor for this industry suggests that it should add nearly 16,000 jobs in the summer, and for the last three years the industry has added about 15,000 jobs each summer – so it is performing pretty much as expected. The most common occupations in the industry are waiters and waitresses, food preparation and serving workers, cooks, supervisors, bartenders, counter attendants, and maids and housekeeping cleaners.

Other industries that added the most summer jobs are construction (11,000 jobs added from winter to summer), administrative and waste services (6,400 jobs), and retail trade (6,000 jobs).

To learn more, read regional economist Erik Knoder's full article here.

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