Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Top Recruited Occupations are Similar Across Oregon's Metro Areas
by Nick Beleiciks
Published Mar-25-2014

The hiring spree Oregon employers are on has spread out from the Portland area to the smaller metropolitan areas such as Bend, Medford, and Salem. The need for workers in these areas is growing across a wide range of occupations, according to the types of job openings employers are advertising for online.

With the exception of some in-demand computer-related occupations around Portland, employers are heavily recruiting the same types of jobs in nearly every area of the state. Registered nurses, truck drivers, retail sales workers, and customer service representatives are near the top of every area's list of occupations with the most online advertisements. But the job opportunities don't stop there; employers are hiring for hundreds of different occupations in all areas of the state.

Recruiting's Always Most Active in Portland, but Now Growing Faster in Bend
The demand for labor in Oregon grew 5 percent during the past 12 months, as measured by the 3,600 increase in the number of Help Wanted Online (HWOL) advertisements posted by employers through January 2014 (Table 1).

As is usually the case, the seven-county area making up the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA metropolitan statistical area had the largest increase in number of ads over the year, increasing by 2,700 ads. The fastest growth rate was in the Bend area, where ads grew an impressive 42 percent. Help wanted ads grew at respectable rates in the Medford, Salem, and Eugene metro areas. Labor demand in Corvallis was unchanged over the year.

Table 1
Demand for Labor Growing Fastest in Bend
Help Wanted Online Ads by Metro Area, Seasonally Adjusted
  January January   Percent
Area 2014 2013 Change Change
Oregon 69,300 65,700 3,600 5%
Bend 3,400 2,400 1,000 42%
Medford 4,100 3,500 600 17%
Salem 4,900 4,300 600 14%
Portland 43,700 41,000 2,700 7%
Eugene 5,200 4,900 300 6%
Corvallis 1,500 1,500 0 0%
Non-Metro Combined 6,900 6,600 300 5%
(not seasonally adjusted)
Source: Oregon Employment Department, The Conference Board, and Wanted Analytics
Nurses Needed STAT in All Areas of Oregon
Registered nurses led the list of occupations with the most advertisements in all areas except Portland and Salem, where registered nurses came in second. In Salem, the number of ads for nurses was surpassed by ads for supervisors of retail sales workers, a complementary occupation for the also highly recruited retail salespersons.

In Portland, employers were advertising for software developers, computer systems analysts, and web developers more so than in other areas. Software developers might feel most needed near the City of Roses because of the 1,527 advertisements for openings, but they might also find opportunities in the High Desert where employers posted 91 help wanted ads for software developers.

Truck drivers, customer service representatives and retail sales workers were near the top in all areas, although they did not always make the top five lists shown in Table 2.

Table 2
Top 5 Occupations by Number of Help Wanted Online Advertisements, January 2014
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 
Software Developers, Applications 1,527
Registered Nurses 1,414
Computer Systems Analysts 806
Web Developers 753
Customer Service Representatives 728
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 162
Registered Nurses 156
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 132
Retail Salespersons 124
Customer Service Representatives 121
Registered Nurses 141
Software Developers, Applications 91
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 68
Retail Salespersons 65
Insurance Sales Agents 63
Oregon (statewide)
Registered Nurses 2,934
Software Developers, Applications 1,697
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 1,240
Retail Salespersons 1,237
Customer Service Representatives 1,180
Registered Nurses 305
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 127
Retail Salespersons 120
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 97
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 96
Registered Nurses 272
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 106
Retail Salespersons 96
Personal Care Aides 85
Customer Service Representatives 79
Registered Nurses 51
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 46
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants 32
Customer Service Representatives 23
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 22
Non-Metro Counties (combined)
Registered Nurses 526
Occupational Therapists 248
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 212
Physical Therapists 205
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers 199
Source: Oregon Employment Department, The Conference Board, and Wanted Analytics
Employers Recruiting for Plenty of Other Occupations
Job seekers not fitting the mold of these top recruited positions should not feel discouraged by the limited lists. Employers are advertising for plenty of other occupations too. Help wanted ads could be found for 764 different occupations statewide in January, 676 in the Portland area, 416 in Eugene, 361 in Salem, 346 in Bend, 344 in Medford, and 280 in Corvallis, and 467 in the non-metro areas of the state. Although there is a consistent demand for certain occupations across the state, employers are advertising for a wide range of different occupations.