Oregon’s Job Growth Fifth Fastest Among the States

by Nick Beleiciks

March 21, 2018

Oregon had the fifth fastest job growth among the states from January 2017 to January 2018. Adding 50,600 jobs for a growth rate of 2.7 percent, Oregon’s solid job growth was slower than first ranked Utah (+3.1%) and neighboring Idaho, Nevada, and Washington, which tied for second with growth rates of 2.8 percent. California ranked seventh with a growth rate of 2.4 percent.

Only two states lost jobs over the last year. The number of jobs in North Dakota fell 1.8 percent and Alaska was down 0.6 percent. Both states are heavily dependent on the energy sector.

Oregon’s growth rate last year was faster than the overall national rate of 1.6 percent. That’s not a new trend. Oregon has been adding jobs faster than the U.S. since 2013.

Oregon Industry Sectors with Top Three Finishes

Looking at job growth rankings by industry sector shows that many areas of Oregon’s economy were adding jobs at a fast pace. Four sectors took gold, silver, or bronze in their race to add jobs: other services; private education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and financial activities.
The ambiguously named other services sector grew 5.0 percent in Oregon, enough to earn first place among the states for job growth in that sector. Other services include businesses involved in repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, and membership associations and organizations. All of these industries added jobs over the past year.

Oregon’s private education and health services sector added jobs at a rate of 4.4 percent over the past year. Only Nevada saw faster growth in this sector, adding jobs at a rate of 5.1 percent. Oregon’s job gains were led by the ambulatory health care services industries, which includes physicians’ offices, dentist offices, and other outpatient care facilities.

Leisure and hospitality’s job growth rate of 4.8 percent was the second fastest among the states. It followed Utah, where leisure and hospitality grew 6.0 percent. Oregon’s growth was entirely due to job gains in food services and drinking places, and in accommodation. Oregon’s arts, entertainment, and recreation industry lost jobs over the year.

Financial activities in Oregon added jobs at a rate of 3.0 percent, fast enough to tie for third place with New Mexico behind Idaho (5.2%) and Arizona (3.4%). Oregon’s growth was led by job gains in real estate and in the finance and insurance industries.

A Note about Industry Job Growth Rates

Job growth rates for Oregon used in this article have been adjusted to remove the January 2018 reclassification of home care workers out of state government and into private education and health services. The reclassification aligned Oregon’s home care worker data with other states and the nation. Without the adjustment for home care worker reclassification, job growth rates would have overstated Oregon’s actual job growth in total private and in private education and health services. Similarly, Oregon’s government sector growth rate would have understated actual job growth without the adjustment.

Where to Get Oregon’s Latest Job Growth Rates

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

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