Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Help Wanted: Prior Experience Required
by Jessica Nelson
Published Apr-15-2014

 
During 2013, Oregon's private employers were looking to fill about 32,000 job vacancies at any given time, according to new annual figures from the Oregon Employment Department's Job Vacancy Survey. The Job Vacancy Survey provides a snapshot of the labor market job seekers face.

Two-thirds of job vacancies were for full-time positions, and three-quarters were permanent jobs. Seven out of 10 positions required previous work experience.

More than 400 occupations statewide had vacancies in 2013. The top 25 occupations shown in the table represent nearly half (46%) of the total. Four occupations had more than 1,000 vacancies each: personal care aides, farmworkers and laborers, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, and customer service representatives.

Wages offered for job vacancies varied widely depending on the education requirement. Vacancies that did not require education beyond high school offered an average hourly wage below $12.00 per hour, compared with average hourly wages of $24.01 per hour for vacancies that required an associate degree, $26.03 per hour for a bachelor's degree, and $33.22 for a graduate degree.

Employers also offered higher wages when their vacancies required more than a year of previous experience. Vacancies with no experience requirement paid an average of $11.26 per hour. Those requiring less than one year of experience paid $10.91 per hour. For vacancies that required one to five years of previous work experience, the average wage offered was $17.32 per hour, while those that required five or more years of experience averaged $28.34.

The health care and social assistance industry accounted for one out of five vacancies, more than any other industry sector. Three additional industries each accounted for more than 10 percent of Oregon job vacancies: management, administrative, and waste services (which includes company headquarters and temporary staffing agencies, among other businesses); leisure and hospitality; and manufacturing.

The survey captured data for five sub-state regions: Northwest Oregon/Willamette Valley; the Portland Tri-County area; Southwestern Oregon; Central Oregon; and Eastern Oregon. The Portland Tri-County area had just over 16,000 vacancies, 49 percent of the statewide total. Vacancies in the Portland Tri-County area were more likely to require education beyond high school, and offered higher wages on average, at $16.61 per hour.

The Oregon Job Vacancy Survey has been conducted since 2008. The 2013 Oregon Job Vacancy Survey results represent the first ever combination of four quarters worth of vacancy surveys. The estimates are based on responses from 10,600 Oregon employers.

For more details on statewide and regional vacancies, visit the "publications" tab on QualityInfo.org and scroll down to the section titled "Oregon Job Vacancies."

Table 1
Top 25 Occupations in Oregon
With the Highest Number of Job Vacancies, 2013
Occupation Vacancies Full-time Positions Permanent Positions
All Occupations       32,441 67% 76%
Personal Care Aides        1,408 50% 79%
Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse        1,276 48% 23%
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers        1,191 90% 75%
Customer Service Representatives        1,154 78% 95%
Registered Nurses           988 68% 99%
Retail Salespersons           806 36% 71%
Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers           575 0% 4%
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand           570 76% 16%
Cashiers           560 12% 48%
Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria           523 11% 14%
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners           519 49% 80%
Waiters and Waitresses           511 10% 28%
Nursing Assistants           510 71% 99%
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners           498 62% 69%
Software Developers, Applications           486 100% 52%
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers           458 39% 76%
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food           435 11% 100%
Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers           423 39% 0%
Home Health Aides           390 95% 99%
Cooks, Restaurant           370 49% 88%
Amusement and Recreation Attendants           299 0% 91%
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors           281 80% 100%
Forest and Conservation Workers           278 100% 0%
Massage Therapists           272 60% 100%
Carpenters           243 100% 100%
Table 2
Oregon Job Vacancies by Geography, 2013
Geography Vacancies Average Hourly Wage Full-time Positions Permanent Positions Requiring Education Beyond
High School
Requiring Previous Experience Difficult to Fill
Oregon Statewide        32,441 $15.04 67% 76% 29% 69% 47%
Portland Tri-County        16,057 $16.61 69% 83% 36% 80% 39%
  Northwest Oregon/
Willamette Valley
         7,808 $13.39 64% 71% 23% 52% 63%
Central Oregon          3,003 $13.84 62% 64% 20% 71% 54%
Southwest Oregon          2,853 $14.42 62% 79% 20% 55% 42%
Eastern Oregon          1,262 $13.23 62% 59% 16% 46% 48%