Oregon Employment Gains Through Third Quarter 2018

by Ken Lux

January 11, 2019

Oregon employment and wages through third quarter 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 the first three quarters of 2018 increased by 1.9 percent over the same three-quarter period in 2017, adding 35,914 employees and bringing the total average monthly employment to 1,911,518.
Average monthly employment increased in eight of the 10 industry sectors within the private sector of Oregon’s economy. Education and health services leads all other industries with a 30 percent gain in employment (+22,555); however, 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 the majority of the employment decline within state government.

Natural resources and mining (+1,349), construction (+7,799), manufacturing (+5,204), professional and businesses services (+5,522), and leisure and hospitality (+4,930) had employment gains of more than 2.0 percent compared with the average monthly employment through the first three quarters of 2017. Only information (-221) and other services (-41) showed over-the-year employment losses.

The private sector of the economy in Oregon, even when adjusted for the shift of the home care workers from state to private, added more than 33,000 employees through the first nine months of 2018. Federal government employment is essentially unchanged with a decline of 167 employees. Adjusting the state employment totals for movement of the home care workers to private-sector employment reveals a slight increase of 1.0 percent in state employment, a gain of approximately 380 employees. Local government has added almost 2,700 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, April 13, 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 (https://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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