Fast-Growing Jobs in Lane County

September 10, 2020

On September 1st, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its 10-year industry and occupational projections. The occupational employment projections, for which Oregon will release the statewide and regional equivalents at the end of this month, specifically highlight some of the jobs that are expected to grow most quickly. Looking at those jobs locally gives some idea of how jobseekers interested in high opportunity jobs can expect to fare locally.
From 2019 to 2029, BLS expects overall employment to increase by 3.7 percent in the U.S., but the growth rate for these occupations ranges from 21 to 52 percent. Many jobs in the list are in healthcare or technology, with a few specialized roles in manufacturing, business, and leisure and hospitality present as well (several are excluded from the table for lack of local data).

The second column shows how many of that type of job can be found in Lane County in all industries. Some jobs, such as home health aides and restaurant cooks, employ thousands in our area. Other more specialized jobs, such as data scientists or physical therapist assistants, employ far fewer.

The final column shows the median hourly wage for that job in Lane County, which varies widely. Some of the fastest growing jobs nationally are extremely well-paying here, such as nurse practitioners, with a median hourly wage of more than $60. Two of the lowest-paying occupations on this list are also the largest: restaurant cooks and personal care aides. An interesting counterpoint is software developers and quality assurance analysts, of which there are nearly 1,200 employed in Lane County, at a median wage of nearly $40 an hour.

It will be interesting to see how local projections match up with national ones and which jobs are expected to grow faster here than the nation. For the time being, connecting national growth rates to local labor market information might help students or job seekers who are looking for their next step better understand where to find the best opportunities.

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