Oregon’s Job Growth 8th Fastest Among the States

Oregon’s Job Growth 8th Fastest Among the States

by Nick Beleiciks

March 16, 2017

Oregon had the eighth fastest job growth among the states from January 2016 to January 2017. Adding 43,200 jobs for a growth rate of 2.4 percent, Oregon’s solid job growth was much slower than first ranked Idaho (+4.0%) and second ranked Nevada (+3.5%). Oregon’s job growth rate was nestled between Washington (2.8%) and California (2.0%) growth rates.

Most states added jobs over the last year. States that had job losses are heavily dependent on the energy sector: Wyoming (-3.2%), Alaska (-2.7%), North Dakota (-0.7%), Oklahoma (-0.6%), West Virginia (-0.6%), Louisiana (-0.4%), and Kansas (-0.2%). These states have seen large job losses in their mining sectors over the last year.

Oregon’s growth rate last year was faster than the U.S. rate of 1.6 percent. That’s not unusual; Oregon has been adding jobs faster than the U.S. since 2013.

Construction Sector Ranked 2nd Fastest

Looking at job growth rankings by industry sector shows that many areas of Oregon’s economy were adding jobs at a fast pace. Growth was very strong in Oregon’s mining, logging, and construction sector; in financial activities; and in other services.

The number of jobs grew by 10.3 percent in Oregon’s mining, logging, and construction sector, which ranked second among the states behind Idaho’s growth rate of 11.0 percent. Oregon’s growth was entirely due to construction jobs because mining and logging lost jobs. These sectors are combined in this analysis to allow for comparisons across all states. Not every state has published data for either mining and logging or construction, but all states have data for the combined sectors. Alaska ranked last, losing 13.3 percent of the jobs in this sector during the last 12 months.

Oregon’s financial activities sector added jobs at a 3.9 percent rate, enough to rank third among the states behind Idaho (+6.0%) and Arizona (+5.0%). Oregon’s growth was mostly due to jobs added in the real estate, rental, and leasing industry. Wyoming ranked last with 4.5 percent job loss in financial activities.

The ambiguously named other services sector grew 2.9 percent, enough to earn Oregon ninth place in job growth. Other services include businesses involved in repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and membership associations and organizations. In Oregon, medical and recreational marijuana dispensary employment in 2016 was captured in this sector and was responsible for most of the job growth. Other states with legal marijuana sales count employment in different sectors, usually in retail trade. Nevada had the fastest growth in this sector at 7.0 percent, while North Dakota was last with 6.8 percent job losses.

Leisure and Hospitality Sector Ranked Low at 32nd

Leisure and hospitality brought up the rear as Oregon’s slowest growing industry last year. With a 1.7 percent growth rate, Oregon had the 32nd fastest growth among the states. Job growth was strong in accommodation and at limited-service eating places, but slower in full-service restaurants and in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The fastest leisure and hospitality job growth was in New Hampshire at 8.6 percent, while North Dakota lost 3.3 percent of its jobs in this sector.

Where to Get Oregon’s Latest Job Growth Rates

The most recent job growth rates by industry for Oregon are available on using the Current Employment Estimates (CES) tool.