Help Wanted Online: Employers Looking to Fill Many Jobs in the Rogue Valley

by Ainoura Oussenbec

September 7, 2017

Rogue Valley employment increased by more than 10,000 jobs between July 2014 and July 2017. By all accounts, the local economy seems very strong at present. In addition, employers report that more jobs would be added to the job tallies, if there were enough workers available. Help Wanted Online (HWOL) data from the Conference Board is one excellent way to gauge the current demand for workers because this tool captures most internet based job listings from many different sources.

According to HWOL, the overall number of ads in the Rogue Valley decreased somewhat in the past 12 months (see the graph below). Still, as of August 2017, employers posted well over 4,500 job openings in Jackson and Josephine counties. It is possible that some of this recent slowdown was due to the fact that the job listings on Craigslist, a major source of online ads, are no longer free of charge. Another reason for the fluctuating employment levels in the graph has to do with seasonality of the local economy. Hiring activities in the Rogue Valley slow down considerably during winter time. Therefore, it is too early to say if the decreasing HWOL job listings are any indication of a looming economic downturn.
The HWOL data offer details about the job listings, such as names of the hiring employers and types of jobs, as well as skills and certifications mentioned in the ads.

The list of hiring employers is long in the Rogue Valley, and represents just about every sector of the economy. However, in terms of number of ads, health care employers such as Providence and Asante dominate the list. Consequently, registered nurses are at the top of the occupations in demand, as well as personal care aides. Truck drivers also seem to occupy one of the top spots just about every month. In the list of hard skills mentioned in the internet ads, surprisingly, bilingual or Spanish skills are at the top in Jackson County. In Josephine County, the skills in demand are varied at present, with the top skills related to driving trucks and forklifts.

Employers require a driver’s license for many different jobs, while commercial driver’s licenses are a must for truck drivers. In health care, specific certifications are important; for instance, first aid and basic life support.

Complete monthly tables from HWOL with jobs, skills, certificates and the list of local hiring employers, are available upon request.

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