Oregon Business Employment Dynamics Report: First Quarter 2018

by Ken Lux

January 30, 2019

Opening and expanding private-sector establishments added 126,218 jobs to the private-sector economy in Oregon between December 2017 and March 2018, an increase of 17,856 jobs from the previous quarter. Private sector establishments with job losses due to closings and contractions reduced employment by 94,578 jobs during the same time period. The result was an increase of 31,640 jobs.

Opening establishments gained 34,324 jobs which was 20,632 more than the 13,692 jobs lost due to establishments going out of business. Expanding private sector establishments added 91,894 while contracting establishments resulted in a loss of 78,113 jobs.
It should be noted that approximately half of the increase in the number of jobs gained through opening establishments is the result of a change made by the Oregon legislature that impacted how employment for home care workers paid through the Department of Human Resources are counted. Effective with 2018 these employees are classified as private-sector employees.

The seasonally adjusted number of Oregon establishments gaining jobs in the first quarter increased from 33,145 to 34,270, a gain of 1,125 establishments. The number of establishments losing jobs decreased by 291 to 30,040. The number of establishments that opened (6,960) was greater than the number of establishments that closed (5,250), resulting in a net gain of 1,710 establishments.
The percentage of gross job gains in the first quarter of 2018 at expanding establishments rose by 0.1 percent from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent of private-sector employment in Oregon. The U.S. national rate decreased, dropping from 5.2 percent to 4.9 percent of U.S. private sector employment. The percentage of gross job gains at opening establishments in Oregon rose by 2.1 percent which is higher than the national rate of 1.1 percent. This also is primarily due to the change in how the home care worker employment is reported and counted in Oregon.

The rate of gross job losses at contracting establishments in Oregon declined by 0.2 percent to 4.8 percent of private-sector employment; the national rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent. The rate of gross job losses at closing establishments in Oregon declined by 0.2 percent to 0.8 percent; the national rate declined by the same amount to 0.9 percent.

Industry sectors posting job gains included: construction (2,966), manufacturing (1,423), wholesale trade (222), retail trade (2,950), information (780), financial activities (536), professional and business services (3,727), educational and health services (19,992), leisure and hospitality (1,816), and other services, except public administration (209). Only transportation and warehousing (-1,103) posted a job loss.

As has been noted earlier, the unusually high number of jobs gained in the educational and health services sector is due to the change in certain home care workers now being classified as private-sector employees.

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