Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Oregon Jobs in 2013: A Wage Data Perspective
by Barbara E Peniston
Published Aug-18-2014

In 2013, all broad industries provided 2,655,139 jobs, a gain of 98,599 (3.9%) over the prior year. Between 2012 and 2013 all but one broad industry experienced growth in the number of jobs. The outlier - wholesale trade - lost 5,613 jobs. Professional and business services (which includes temporary help businesses) and leisure and hospitality enjoyed the largest absolute gains, adding 22,159 and 20,557 jobs, respectively. Leisure and hospitality also posted the largest year-over-year percent increase of 6.4 percent. At least part of the job growth in these two industries, both of which have a strong seasonal component, may have resulted from an increase in turnover - that is, workers changing jobs more frequently. Since these figures are quarterly, several workers in a single position over the course of a quarter increases the number of jobs counted.

The largest number of jobs (369,028) was held by professional and business services in 2013. Their share of the jobs pie rose modestly, from 13.6 percent in 2012 to 13.9 percent in 2013 (Graph 1). The education and health services industry ran a close second, capturing 349,483 (13.2% of all) jobs that year; over the year, it added 12,667 jobs. Professional and business services still did not reach its pre-recession (2006) peak of 389,348 jobs. The number of education and health services jobs in 2013, on the other hand, was 12.0 percent higher than just prior to the recent recession. In fact, the industry has grown fairly steadily since 2006. The only other industry whose job numbers were larger in 2013 than in 2007 is natural resources and mining. The number of state and local government jobs remained fairly stable over the time period.

The median hourly wage of jobs in all broad industries rose from $15.09 to $15.19 per hour in 2013 - a year-over-year increase of just less than 1 percent. All but one industry (wholesale trade) saw their median wages increase. Information continued to have the highest median hourly wage ($25.25), followed by state and local government and construction. Inflation-adjusted median hourly wages tell a different story. Only two industries - financial activities and professional and business services - enjoyed real wage increases in 2013.

Twenty percent of all jobs in 2013 paid at least $30.00 per hour and more than one-third paid at least $20.00 per hour. About half of all jobs paid less than $15.00 per hour. All but the smallest hourly wage class posted job gains (Table 1); the largest number of these were added to the $10.00 to $14.99 wage class. This is not surprising, given the concentration of job gains in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Sitting at the figurative top of the array, the $60 or more class saw the highest percentage of jobs gained, for an increase of nearly 12,000 jobs. The $50.00 to $59.99 wage class also posted a significant percentage increase in number of jobs. Together, the two highest classes had year-over-year gains of 31 percent between 2012 and 2013.

To see detailed annual tables, visit www.QualityInfo.org and go to the Wages and Income link to find the Quarterly Wage Tables.

Table 1
Oregon: Year-Over-Year Job Losses and Gains by Hourly Wage Class, 2013
  Percent Jobs
Under $10.00 -3.5% -20,266
$10.00 - $14.99 8.6% 59,116
$15.00 - $19.99 3.8% 14,756
$20.00 - $29.99 4.0% 16,223
$30.00 - $39.99 3.4% 6,906
$40.00 - $49.99 3.9% 4,803
$50.00 - $59.99 8.4% 5,498
$60.00 or more 10.5% 11,563
All Wage Classes 3.9% 98,599
Source: Unemployment Insurance Wage Records
Graph 1
Oregon percent of all jobs by broad industry 2012