Oregon Average Monthly Employment Topped 1.9 Million in 2018

by Ken Lux

April 12, 2019

Oregon employment and wages for all of 2018 are now available on the Oregon Employment Department labor market website Qualityinfo.org. This information is based on data compiled by the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.

The average monthly employment for all employers reporting their employment and wages to the QCEW program in 2018 increased by 1.9 percent over 2017, adding 36,266 employees and bringing the total average monthly employment to 1,919,918.
Average monthly employment increased in all but one of the industry sectors within the private sector of Oregon’s economy. Education and health services leads all other industries with a gain of almost 8.5 percent in employment (+22,764); however, as was noted in the third quarter QCEW employment report, the majority of the employment gains are the result of a change in how home care workers paid through the Department of Human Services are identified (state workers vs. private-sector workers) for labor market information purposes. These approximately 17,000 employees also represent almost all of the employment decline within state government.

Natural resources and mining (+1,065), construction (+7,455), manufacturing (+5,238), professional and businesses services (+5,346), and leisure and hospitality (+4,824) had employment gains of more than 2.0 percent compared with the average monthly employment in 2017. Only information (-3) is showing over-the-year employment loss.

Employment gains in the private sector of the economy in Oregon, even when adjusted for the shift of the home care workers from state to private, added 33,5781 employees in 2018. Federal government employment is essentially unchanged with a decline of 104 workers. Adjusting the state employment totals for movement of the home care workers to private-sector employment left state government essentially unchanged with a net loss of 38 employees. Local government has added 2,830 workers (mostly in transportation, education, and public administration), an increase of 1.4 percent.

The QCEW Report

The QCEW report is a summary level count of employment and wages reported by employers who provide unemployment insurance coverage for their employees and federal employees who are covered under the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program. The scope of the QCEW includes more than 95 percent of all jobs in the U.S. and provides data by county, ownership, and industry.

As the name implies, the QCEW is a quarterly publication of employment and wages. The primary source of the economic data published by the QCEW is the quarterly contributions report filed by each employer with their state unemployment insurance agency. In Oregon, the QCEW data for each quarter is published approximately fourteen weeks after the end of the reference quarter. The next scheduled release date for QCEW employment and wages data is Friday, July 12, 2019.

Read More About It …

A complete description of the QCEW program that provides details about the concept, data sources, design, and other key elements related to the QCEW program can be found on the BLS website: https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cew/pdf/cew.pdf.

The database of historical Employment and Wages by Industry (2001 to present) can be found on the Economic Data page of the Qualityinfo.org website: www.QualityInfo.org. Employment and wage tables by industry based on the Standard Industrial Classification Manual (1976 to 2000) are also available upon request.

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