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Long-Term Industry Projections Show Broad-Based Job Growth in Oregon
by Gail Krumenauer
Published Mar-25-2014

Oregon will add 258,000 jobs between 2012 and 2022, according to recently released projections from the Oregon Employment Department. This represents a 15 percent increase in employment over 10 years. The growth stems from anticipated private-sector gains of 232,000 jobs (17%) and the addition of 26,000 jobs (9%) in government.

The 2012 to 2022 employment projections reflect several ongoing trends: continuing recovery from the Great Recession, particularly for the construction industry; a growing health care sector, due in part to an aging population; and the need for replacement workers due to baby boomer retirements.

Job Gains From Economic Growth
Projected job growth spans across all broad private industry sectors. The largest private industries in Oregon - professional and business services; health care and social assistance; and trade, transportation, and utilities - are expected to have the most employment gains (Table 1). Professional and business services - which includes computer systems design, temporary employment agencies, business support services, and other firms - will add 47,000 jobs. Health care follows closely, with the anticipated addition of 45,000 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities will pick up 34,000 jobs over the 10-year period.

The information sector - which includes software publishers and newspaper, directory, periodical, and book publishers, among others - will see the smallest gains statewide, adding 2,400.

Table 1
Oregon Long-Term Employment Projections by Major Industry, 2012-2022
  2012 2022 Change % Change
Total payroll employment 1,685,300 1,943,200 257,900 15%
Professional and business services 201,200 248,400 47,200 23%
Health care and social assistance 204,100 249,400 45,300 22%
Trade, transportation, and utilities 311,200 345,100 33,900 11%
Leisure and hospitality 169,800 198,300 28,500 17%
Local government 180,500 201,200 20,700 11%
Construction 70,100 90,300 20,200 29%
Manufacturing 172,100 191,200 19,100 11%
Financial activities 90,800 103,000 12,200 13%
Natural resources and mining 52,700 62,000 9,300 18%
Other services 58,300 65,700 7,400 13%
State government 80,200 87,400 7,200 9%
Private educational services 33,900 39,900 6,000 18%
Information 32,300 34,700 2,400 7%
Federal government 28,100 26,600 -1,500 -5%
Fast-Growth Industries
The construction industry is projected to have the fastest rate of employment growth (29%) in Oregon. The fast growth is expected due in part to a late rebound from tremendous job losses in the Great Recession. Even with its relatively fast growth rate, the industry's employment will not return to its peak level by 2022 (Graph 1). Other industries not expected to reach pre-recession levels over the decade include manufacturing, financial activities, and information.

At a more detailed level, the industry projected to grow the fastest is computer systems design and related services, which will add 5,000 jobs, or 42 percent, to payrolls over the decade (Graph 2). Computer systems design firms include those that design systems integrating hardware, software, and communication technologies; write, test, or support computer software; and data processing facilities, among others.

Others with high employment growth rates in Oregon include several construction industry groups. A few examples are building finishing contractors (41%), nonresidential building construction (32%), and residential building construction (32%). Health care sub-sectors - particularly those that serve an aging population - also fall in the fastest-growth category. These include nursing and residential care facilities (27%), and ambulatory health care services (26%).

Although at a broad level the information sector shows the slowest projected growth in Oregon, its software publishers subset is among the top 10 fastest-growing industries statewide. Projections show an employment gain of 27 percent for software publishers over the decade.

Graph 1
Oregon industries not returning to pre-recession level by 2022
Graph 2
Oregon's fastest-growing industries 2012-2022
Industries With Projected Job Losses
Federal government is the only major industry expected to shed jobs over the decade. The loss of 1,500 jobs (-5%) will be primarily due to federal postal declines (Graph 3). Even at a more detailed level, few industries will lose jobs by 2022. The steepest projected job losses are anticipated for newspaper, book, and directory publishers (-13%) and telecommunications firms (-10%). Within the broad information sector, these two relatively fast-declining industries offset roughly half the job growth in software publishing between 2012 and 2022.

Graph 3
Oregon industries projected to lose jobs 2012-2022
Fastest Growth Expected Around Portland and Central Oregon
The Portland area and Central Oregon expect the fastest employment growth over the 10-year period, according to projections from the Employment Department's regional economists. The Portland tri-county area of Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties anticipates 16 percent employment growth by 2022 (Figure 1). The Central Oregon region made up of Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties also expects employment gains of 16 percent. Lane County's anticipated 15 percent growth will match the statewide rate. The sub-state areas with the slowest growth include the South Coast (7%), Southeastern Oregon (9%), and the Columbia Basin counties of Morrow and Umatilla (9%).

Figure 1
Faster growth projected in Portland area and Central Oregon 2012-2022
Additional Information
Every two years, the Oregon Employment Department updates long-term employment projections to account for changes in the economy. The 2012 to 2022 statewide projections cover 97 industries and 717 occupations.

All statewide and regional employment projections are available at QualityInfo.org. Select a region from the map at the top-right of the home page, then look under the Publications tab for the region to find industry and occupation projections to 2022.

This article marks the first in a two-part series by highlighting industry trends. Next month, an article focused on occupational projections will provide additional insight on the need to replace departing workers, and other occupational highlights.