Oregon Jobs Projected to Increase 13% by 2031

by Sarah Cunningham

February 9, 2023

Oregon’s total employment will grow by 265,000 jobs between 2021 and 2031, according to new projections from the Oregon Employment Department. Employment growth reflects recovery from low employment levels in 2021 due to the pandemic recession in addition to structural growth. In addition, many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.

In 2021, there were 2,061,200 jobs in Oregon. The projected 13% increase in employment between 2021 and 2031 includes private-sector gains of 240,200 jobs, growth of 20,300 jobs in government, and an additional 4,400 self-employed Oregonians.

Fastest-Growing Sectors

Leisure and hospitality is projected to increase the fastest and add the largest number of jobs. The projected gain of 60,100 jobs (34% growth) in leisure and hospitality is mainly driven by the recovery from the pandemic, as restaurants, hotels, and arts, cultural, and recreational establishments have seen increased demand as in-person and recreational activities resume. Leisure and hospitality lost 51,700 jobs in 2020 relative to 2019. In 2021, leisure and hospitality was still 39,100 jobs short of its 2019 level, so nearly two-thirds of jobs added over the decade will be due to recovering lost jobs. By comparison, in the last set of projections prior to the pandemic, leisure and hospitality was ranked the fourth fastest-growing sector.
Graph showing leisure and hospitality leads long-term employment growth, Oregon industry projections, 2021-2031

The private health care and social assistance and information sectors are projected to be the second fastest-growing sectors (17% growth). Private health care and social assistance is also projected to add the second-largest number of jobs over the next 10 years. There may be little surprise seeing health care among the top sectors adding jobs, as it is one of the largest sectors in the state.

Private health care and social assistance is projected to add 45,900 jobs in the next 10 years. This growth is attributed to the aging of the state’s population, longer life expectancies, and long-term population growth. Within health care and social assistance, nursing and residential care facilities (26%); ambulatory health care services (18% growth), such as doctor and dentist offices, chiropractors, physical and speech therapists, and other specialists; and social assistance (18% growth) that includes individual and family services and child day care services are expected to grow much faster than hospitals (8% growth). Rapid growth in nursing and residential care services is driven primarily by recovery from the pandemic recession.

Information, a small sector comprised of establishments that produce and distribute information and cultural products, provide the means to transmit or distribute these products, and perform data processing, is projected to add 5,800 jobs from 2021 to 2031. Growth in this industry is driven by the recovery of the motion picture and video industry (63%), growth in data processing (31%), and software publishers (28%).

Construction is projected to be the third-fastest growing sector (16%) in Oregon, adding 17,800 jobs from 2021 to 2031. Growth in construction is expected to be widespread across its components including construction of buildings (16%), special trade contractors (16%), and heavy and civil engineering construction (13%).
Peak Employment

While overall employment in many sectors is expected to grow beyond their peak levels, some sectors will fall short of their peak employment by 2031. Manufacturing employment is expected to grow by 9% to 203,100 jobs. That's below its most recent peak of 207,300 jobs in 2006. Its all-time high was 228,600 jobs in 1998. In 2020, manufacturing lost 6% of its jobs (-12,700 jobs).

Financial activities sector employment is projected to grow by 3% to 105,200 jobs, about 1,400 jobs below its last peak of 106,600 jobs in 2007.
Graph showing private industries below peak employment in 2031

Both manufacturing and financial activities consist of industries growing in notably different ways. Some smaller components of manufacturing – such as transportation equipment manufacturing (19%) and primary metal manufacturing (24%) – show higher projected growth rates. In 2020, transportation equipment manufacturing lost 13% of its jobs (-1,700 jobs) and primary metal manufacturing lost 17% of its jobs (-1,600 jobs).
Meanwhile, paper manufacturing (-10%) and sawmills and wood preservation (-2%) show projected declines by 2031. Both paper manufacturing and sawmills and wood preservation experienced stable employment in 2020. Paper manufacturing includes pulp, paper, and paperboard mills and converted paper product manufacturing.

In financial activities, the real estate rental and leasing industry is projected to grow by 8%. Finance and insurance is projected to lose 2% of its jobs by 2031.

Declining Industries

Several industry groups with the biggest projected losses relate to news media, production and distribution of various paper-related products, and retail trade. These include computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing (-38%); newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers (-33%); printing (-23%); pulp, paper, and paperboard mills (-19%); and electronics and appliance stores (-23%).


Projections show relatively modest growth in all broad areas of government. Federal government should continue to grow (1%). State government is expected to grow 5% and local government is expected to grow 8%.

All Industries Need Workers

Whether growing rapidly or showing a net loss of jobs by 2031, all broad industries provide employment opportunities to Oregonians. The demand is clear in some industries. Slower growing sectors and declining industries still offer many job opportunities though, as there is a need to replace retiring workers or others leaving the industry.

More information on 2021-2031 industry and occupational projections for Oregon and sub-state areas can be found at QualityInfo.org/projections.

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