Friday, January 15, 2021

Fall 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 54,700 vacancies in fall 2020. Total job openings increased from the level last fall (+7%). The level of job vacancies in the fall was back to the levels seen before major disruption due to COVID-19 in the spring.

Most openings in the fall were for full-time, permanent positions. Health care and social assistance topped the industry list in fall, with 10,600 vacancies. This has been the sector with the most vacancies 18 of the past 20 quarters. Retail trade had 8,600 vacancies and construction had 6,000 in fall.

The average starting wage reported in fall was $17.47, a decrease of 9% from the average in fall 2019. Total vacancies were up 7% from the level last fall, and the number of vacancies offering a starting wage below $15 per hour increased 5%. The number of vacancies offering $15 per hour to $24.99 per hour increased 1%, and most significantly vacancies paying above $25 per hour dropped by 35%. 

Together, the increase in the total number of vacancies and the decrease in the average wage over the last year indicates that, as of fall, we were seeing some low-wage job recovery. This is likely because the majority of jobs lost in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions, had more impact on low-wage jobs. As restrictions around the pandemic change, hiring demand still exists for these jobs.

More details about Oregon Job Vacancies are available in the article by Senior Economic Analyst Anna Johnson and on, on the publications page under Job Vacancy Survey.

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