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Encouraging Trends in Oregon Business Employment Dynamics
by Phoebe Colman
Published Jan-22-2013

In the first quarter of 2012, seasonally adjusted gross job gains in Oregon's private sector decreased slightly from 93,674 to 92,985, while gross job losses decreased more sharply from 92,363 to 87,056 (Graph 1). The result of these changes was a seasonally adjusted net gain of 5,929 jobs in the first quarter of 2012. This is among the stronger seasonally adjusted net job gains for Oregon since the onset of the Great Recession, although it is still relatively weak compared with the growth observed during the "boom years" from 2004 to 2006.

Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data further show that Oregon's first quarter job growth corresponds to a net gain of 408 business establishments. This gain was largely due to encouraging trends among opening and closing establishments. The number of opening establishments increased from 5,464 to 5,736 in the first quarter of 2012, while the number of closing establishments dropped from 5,779 to 5,328. The numbers of expanding and contracting establishments remained relatively steady from December 2011 to March 2012.

On average, expanding establishments added 3.4 jobs per establishment in the first quarter, while contracting establishments lost an average of 3.2 jobs. Establishments that opened during the first quarter started with an average of 2.8 employees, while closing establishments lost an average of 2.8 employees per establishment.

Data on the quarterly gross job gains and losses come from the Business Employment Dynamics program at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A more detailed Business Employment Dynamics Report is available at QualityInfo.org on the Publications page in the News box.

Graph 1
Oregon business employment dynamics private sector job flows