Nearly 24,000 New Jobs Forecasted for Clackamas County, 2014-2024

by Amy Vander Vliet

July 8, 2016

Clackamas County will grow by nearly 24,000 jobs by 2024 according to the latest projections published by the Research Division of the Oregon Employment Department. This translates into a growth rate of 15.0 percent; slightly faster than the state as a whole (+13.9%) and significantly faster than the nation (6.5%).
By Industry

Every major industry in the region will add jobs over the coming decade. Clackamas County is unique compared with Oregon and the U.S. in that health care will not lead growth. Due to its urban economy and a relatively rapidly growing population, job growth will be dominated instead by the large trade, transportation, and utilities sector. Professional and business services will add nearly as many jobs. This industry includes legal and architectural services, computer systems design, temporary employment agencies, corporate offices, and a variety of other businesses. Health care rounds out the top three. All three of these sectors are each projected to add more than 4,000 jobs over the forecast period.

Construction doesn't top the list in the total number of new jobs, but it will be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. Again, population growth is at play here. Additionally, the greater Portland region has extremely low rental vacancy rates, and there's also pent up demand for commercial space in some areas. These shortages will strengthen demand for buildings and therefore construction workers, until supply catches up with demand.

On the other end of the growth spectrum, the government sector will be the slowest-growing major industry in the region. Moderate growth in K-12 and community colleges will be partially offset by slowing in state government and losses in federal government, due in part to continued cuts in post offices.

By Occupation
Translating the industry numbers into occupations, the service-related broad occupational group tops the list for adding the largest number of new jobs, at more than 5,000; or one out of five new jobs. The professional and related group will add nearly 3,000 jobs. This category includes computer (e.g., software developers, web developers), architecture and engineering, legal, and teaching occupations.
Drilling down further, of the 338 detailed occupations we track in Clackamas County, all but 41 are projected to add jobs. Retail salespersons will add the largest number of jobs, at 947. This comes as no surprise; it's the largest occupation in the region, and one that is also powered by anticipated strong population growth. Food preparation and serving workers and waiters/waitresses round out the top three.

Of the declining occupations, seven of the 10 occupations with the largest losses are either postal- or manufacturing-related.

It's Not Just About Growth

While thousands of jobs will be created over the coming years by economic growth – new or expanding companies – many existing jobs will become open due to replacement needs, predominantly due to retirements. In fact, for every 2 jobs created due to economic growth, 3 existing jobs will become vacant. In total, Clackamas County employers will need to fill 61,000 job openings between 2014 and 2024.

By Region

Projections were produced for Oregon statewide and various regions across the state. Central Oregon is expected to have the fastest job growth by 2024 (+16.1%; 14,050 jobs). Clackamas County and Portland-Metro are close behind, each with 15 percent rates of growth.
In fact, the fastest job growth rates within Oregon are projected to be in regions containing a metro area. Seven of the 14 regions across the state include a metro area; all of those regions are forecast to see rates of job growth at 9 percent or higher. Meanwhile, all but two of the seven regions without a metro area are expected to see growth rates at 7 percent or lower.

Employment projections are available on the Publications pages at

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