Online Ads See Significant Growth Over the YearApril 10, 2018 Oregon’s help wanted online ads increased by 6.4 percent (+4,400) from March 2017 to March 2018, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine data series. In the U.S. help wanted online ads increased by 3.7 percent (+170,900). Over the month – from February to March 2018 - online job ads decreased slightly by 0.7 percent (-500) in Oregon and increased 2.2 percent (+102,100) in the U.S. Despite the over-the-month slight decrease of job ads in Oregon, the unemployment rate continues to be low and job growth continues to be strong. For 14 consecutive months, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been close to 4.1 percent, its lowest level since comparable records began in 1976. Payroll employment grew by 43,700 jobs, or 2.3 percent from February 2017 to February 2018.
Online advertisements, tracked by Wanted Analytics and The Conference Board, are an indicator of demand for workers. While these ads provide a proxy for labor market demand, they do not provide an exact measure of job openings for a few reasons. First, not all openings are posted online. Some job ads, like those for construction, farming, logging, and fishing, are not as likely to be posted online. Others, like computer occupations, show up more frequently on job boards. In addition, some jobs are posted online continuously as a means of collecting resumes without the intention of an immediate hire. Despite not measuring all job openings, the Help Wanted OnLine data series provides a way to measure trends in employment, real-time changes in labor demand, and occupational mix and growth.
At the county level, 13 counties saw job ad increases and 23 counties saw job ad declines between March 2017 and March 2018. Much of the increase was in Multnomah, Marion, and Washington counties. Multnomah County saw ads increase by 800 (+3.3%); Marion County by 300 (+6.9%); and Washington County by 300 (+3.3%). Counties with the highest over-the-year job ad declines included Deschutes (-400; -12.2%); Clackamas (-300; -5.7%); and Klamath (-200; -21.6%).
Among metro areas, three metro areas had job ad increases and six had job ad declines over the year. The largest job ad increases were in the Portland (+1,400; +3.4%) and Salem (+300; +6.4%) metro areas. The largest declines were in the Bend-Redmond (-400; -12.2%) and Medford (-100; -3.4%) metro areas.
Nurses Are the Most-Advertised Occupation in Oregon
Employers placed more ads for registered nurses, by far, than any other occupation in March 2018. About 2,900 ads were posted for nurses across the state. Most in-demand occupations across the state were found in both metro and nonmetro areas. Registered nurses, truck drivers, retail salespersons, and social and human service assistants topped the list in most areas. Employers in the Portland metro area advertised heavily for software developers. Medical and health services managers were heavily advertised in the Medford metro area. Industrial machinery mechanics were in the top five most-advertised online occupations in Grants Pass.
Job seekers not fitting the mold of these top-recruited positions should not feel discouraged by the limited lists. Help wanted ads could be found for hundreds of occupations in each area of the state. Although there is a consistent demand for certain occupations across the state, employers are advertising for a wide range of different occupations.
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