Lane County Long-Term Employment Growth is Expected to Continue at a Slower Pace

by Brian Rooney

June 17, 2016

The 2014 to 2024 employment projections reflect a continuing recovery from the Great Recession, although at a slower pace than the 2015 annual average increase of 2.6 percent. As the recovery from the Great Recession matures, the likelihood of slower growth increases. In addition, current slower growth globally will eventually affect Lane County. However, some industries are expected to continue rapid growth during the 10-year period including health care, construction, and professional and business services.
Lane County will add 16,800 jobs between 2014 and 2024. This represents an 11 percent increase in employment over 10 years. This is lower than the statewide increase of 14 percent over the same period. The growth stems from anticipated private-sector gains of 15,700 jobs (13%) and the addition of 1,100 jobs (4%) in government. The projected percent growth rate exceeds the 1 percent growth seen over the past decade, but is less than the 26 percent average decadal growth rate going back to 1958.

Stronger growth is expected in the Portland Metro area (15%) and Central Oregon (16%). Slower job growth is expected in all other areas of the state, except the North Central area, which is the same at 11 percent.

Some Lane County highlights include:

  • Health care and social assistance adds the most jobs and has the fastest growth (4,200 jobs, 20%) due to a growing and aging population.
  • Information grows slowly, adding 100 jobs (3%) as slow employment growth in software publishing combines with losses in print publishing.
  • Professional and business services add 2,500 (+16%). Although we expect a major portion of this growth to come from continued growth in temporary help firms, their rapid market penetration of the past decade has slowed. Another major portion, call centers, should continue to add despite the Firstsource closure in 2015.
  • Construction is expected to continue its rebound from large losses during the recession. Propelled by the need to fill low housing inventory, the industry is expected to add 900 jobs (+16%), although it does not reach its pre-recession employment level.
  • Leisure and hospitality will add 2,100 jobs (14%) from tourism and retirees.
  • State government will grow by 700 jobs (6%), partly from a new state hospital in Junction City, which started to add staff in 2015.
  • Manufacturing grows 1,700 jobs (+13%). Durable goods manufacturing grows with the additions in computer and electronic manufacturing (Broadcom), wood products (Swanson in Springfield) and transportation equipment (Winnebago) early in the forecast. Nondurable goods manufacturing grows, adding 400 jobs (+10%), largely from food and beverage manufacturing.
  • Natural resources and mining, which includes logging and sand and gravel mining, is expected to grow 300 jobs (+13%) due in part to an improving local construction industry.
  • Federal government grows slowly adding 100 jobs (6%) due to losses in postal service employment that are countered by a new Veteran's Administration clinic, which added staff in 2015.

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