Job Vacancies in Northwest Oregon in 2017

by Erik Knoder

March 8, 2018

Northwest Oregon had about 3,750 job vacancies in the private sector on an average day in 2017. This was an increase from an average of 2,100 vacancies in 2016. The industry with the most vacancies was leisure and hospitality; it had an average of 1,072 job vacancies on any given day. These estimates for job vacancies came from a survey of 1,300 private-sector employers in Northwest Oregon during the year.
The 1,072 vacancies in leisure and hospitality are estimated from point-in-time surveys. In a survey that is mailed each quarter, respondents are asked about vacancies they have at that time. The responses from the four quarterly surveys were used make the estimate of 1,072 vacancies in leisure and hospitality. To put this number in context, the leisure and hospitality industry in Northwest Oregon had an estimated average annual employment of 16,090 in 2017 and hired an estimated 18,964 people in 2016 – the most recent year available. This means that, as a rough estimate, the roughly 1,100 establishments in the leisure and hospitality industry needed nearly 21 days on average to fill their average number of vacancies. In 2016, leisure and hospitality businesses needed only nine days on average to fill their average number of vacancies.

Two other large industries in Northwest Oregon were also near the top of the list for having the most job vacancies. Health care and social assistance and retail trade took the number two and number three positions. These three industries are the three largest in Northwest Oregon, so it’s no surprise that they had the most job vacancies in 2017.

The survey also revealed that the occupations with the most vacancies were personal care aides, cooks, maids and housekeepers, and construction laborers – which is pretty much what you would expect given the dominant industries. Most job vacancies were for relatively low-paying positions. Employers were offering $15 or less per hour for 61 percent of all vacancies. Only 12 percent of vacancies were offering $25 per hour or more.

Fully 70 percent of job vacancies had either no educational requirement at all or required only a high school diploma. These vacancies also tended to offer lower pay.
Vacancies that required postsecondary training showed the importance of getting some education or training beyond high school. The average hourly wage was much higher, most were permanent positions, and 82 percent were for full-time jobs. The 2017 vacancy survey reinforces other research that shows that Northwest Oregon job seekers can benefit by getting additional education and training at local community colleges, Jobs Corps Centers, and apprenticeships.

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