Thursday, August 20, 2020

Spring 2020 Hiring Among Oregon Private Employers

Each quarter, the Oregon Employment Department surveys private employers from all industries and areas of the state to ask about the job vacancies they are actively trying to fill. Oregon businesses reported 42,500 vacancies in spring 2020. Total job openings fell from winter levels (-10%), and dropped well below the level last spring (-18%). The spring 2020 Oregon Job Vacancy Survey included a new question: “Is this location closed or operations curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions?” About 18 percent of responding businesses reported being curtailed or closed due to COVID-19. But employers continued to hire in the spring, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the spring of 2020, businesses reported hiring in various industries. Administrative, management, and waste services topped the industry list in spring, totaling 10,500. Vacancies for janitors and cleaners, and stockers and order fillers surged in the spring. Health care and social assistance dropped to second-most vacancies, with 8,700 vacancies. This has been the sector with the most vacancies in 16 of the past 18 quarters. Leisure and hospitality had about 4,800 vacancies in spring, down from an estimated 7,700 vacancies in winter. Leisure and hospitality businesses reported the most closures and curtailed operations due to COVID-19, affecting 39 percent of businesses in the industry compared with 18 percent overall.

Most openings in the spring were for full-time, permanent positions. The average starting wage reported in spring was $17.37, down 4 percent from the average in spring 2019. Total vacancies were down 18 percent in the spring compared with last year, with the greatest declines among jobs paying more than $25 per hour. The number of vacancies paying less than $15 per hour dropped just 6 percent.

Spring vacancies were distributed across the state, with the Portland tri-county area accounting for two out of five. Vacancies dropped the most over the year in Clackamas County and the East Cascades. Northwest Oregon, Lane County, and Eastern Oregon also had large declines.

To learn more about hiring in spring 2020, read Senior Economic Analyst Anna Johnson's full article here.

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