Job Vacancies and Low Unemployment Contribute to a Tight Labor Market in Portland

by Emily Starbuck

July 6, 2018

In spring 2018, employers in the Portland tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties) reported more than 22,500 job vacancies. The ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies has declined over the past several years. There were fewer than two unemployed workers per job vacancy in the Portland tri-county area in spring 2018, down from nearly four unemployed workers per vacancy just five years ago. The number of unemployed workers declined by 44 percent over that period, while job vacancies grew by 35 percent. Low unemployment, combined with the mismatch in skills and experience between available workers and current job vacancies, contributes to the hiring difficulties businesses are facing. Oregon employers reported that nearly half of their vacancies were difficult to fill this spring.


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