Construction Industry Jobs Have Yet to Recover from Recessionary Low in NW Oregon

by Shawna Sykes

April 3, 2017

Northwest Oregon’s private-sector construction jobs are up by 14 percent since the industry’s 2012 recessionary low but are still 950 jobs below the area’s 2007 peak. The industry had about 667 employers, nearly 3,300 jobs and over $140 million in payroll in Northwest Oregon in 2015. Benton County had the largest share of construction employment within the area (28%), followed by Clatsop (23%), Lincoln (22%), Columbia (17%), and Tillamook counties (10%).

Average wages in private-sector construction were highest in Tillamook County ($46,667), followed by Benton ($45,508), Columbia ($44,685), Lincoln ($40,992) and Clatsop ($39,067).
The number of construction employers peaked in 2008 at 879 and fell by 219 businesses to 660 in 2013. Since that time, the number of business units has grown by 1 percent (7 businesses) within the construction sector in NW Oregon.

The most common construction industry jobs include carpenters; construction laborers; truck drivers; supervisors and managers of construction workers; operating engineers and other construction equipment operators; heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers; cost estimators; electricians; bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; and roofers. These 10 jobs combined make up nearly two-thirds of the industry’s employment. The construction sector is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, adding 570 jobs within NW Oregon.

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