Monday, January 11, 2021

Oregon's Manufacturing Specialities

Manufacturing has a slightly larger than average footprint in Oregon (10.2% of employment compared with 8.5% nationally) and, despite relatively steeper losses leading up to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, is growing more quickly over the long run than the nation. Since its lowest employment level in March 2010, manufacturing employment in Oregon has grown by 12.0% compared with the nation’s 7.0%. Long-term growth in Oregon's manufacturing sector is projected to continue, with 5% growth expected between 2019 and 2029.

Computer and electronic components manufacturing comprises nearly 20% of the sector statewide compared with roughly 8% of national manufacturing employment. Wood product manufacturing also has a strong presence in Oregon, making up 12% of sector employment compared with 3% of the sector nationally.

A more detailed industry analysis shows just how diverse Oregon's manufacturing sector is. The largest detailed industry by far is the semiconductor and electronic components industry (30,400 jobs in 2019). It also pays far more on average than any other manufacturing industry at $149,300 compared with $71,400 across all manufacturing sectors.

True to Oregon’s long history in forestry, two of Oregon’s top industries are tied to our natural resources: veneer and engineered wood products (9,000 jobs) and sawmills and wood preservation (6,200 jobs). While employment in wood product manufacturing is but a fraction of what it was a few decades ago, these two industries combined play an influential role in Oregon’s manufacturing sector.

As more and more Oregon wines and beers hit shelves around the country and world, the winery and brewery industries are thrust into the spotlight. Both of these industries in Oregon have sizeable employment. Employment in wineries has risen steadily over the years, and is highly seasonal, due to employment spikes around harvest time. Brewery employment has skyrocketed in recent years as the craft beer industry has boomed. Oregon’s wineries and breweries pay relatively lower wages than the all-industry average at $37,000 and $41,000, respectively.

Oregon's manufacturing sector has a unique makeup, comprises a larger share of employment statewide than it does nationally, and is growing faster than the U.S. over the long-term. Long-term growth is projected to continue, with 5% growth projected between 2019 and 2029. 

To learn more about Oregon's manufacturing sector, read economist Sarah Cunningham's full article here

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