Oregon’s Social Assistance Industry – Transcending its Description

by Dallas Fridley

February 22, 2018

Social assistance is a unique industry group with jobs in private industry, both for profit and nonprofit establishments, as well as government. Each ownership category and type has carved out its own niche, offering invaluable services to Oregonians faced with a critical need.
The employment split between private industry and government hovered around 60/40 in 2016. Private industry’s 60 percent share included about 37,200 jobs while government employed close to 24,600. Nonprofits dominated private industry employment, while state government represented most but not quite all of the public sector’s social assistance jobs.

Social assistance experienced rapid growth between 2006 and 2016, rising by about 19,600 jobs or 46 percent in 10 years. Growth peaked in 2015 when employment rose by 3,800 jobs or 7 percent. Private industry service providers grew by more than 11,400 jobs, an increase of 44 percent since 2006, while government gained about 8,200, rising by 50 percent.

Social assistance payrolls totaled $1.7 billion in 2016, but average pay was well below Oregon’s all industry average. Across all ownerships, social assistance wages averaged $27,210 in 2016, significantly below Oregon’s $49,467 all industries average. The private industry side of social assistance paid an average of $25,768 in 2016, with nonprofits averaging $27,822 and for profit establishments slightly lower, at $25,625. In government ownerships, social assistance paid an average of $29,394 in 2016.

Government social assistance activities were concentrated in two industries: services for the elderly and disabled, where the public sector held a 73 percent share of 2016 employment; and other individual and family services, with a 48 percent share. Outside of these two key industries, government’s role in social assistance was quite limited, with the private sector holding a 94 percent share.

Private for profit social assistance led child day care services, with more than 6,000 jobs in 2016 or 51 percent of the industry’s 11,800. For profits also provided services for the elderly and disabled, with over 5,200 or 22 percent of the industry’s jobs.

Private nonprofits were the go-to providers for vocational rehabilitation services, with nearly 6,300 jobs or 84 percent of the industry’s 2016 total. Child day care services were also concentrated in private nonprofit establishments, with 46 percent of the industry’s 2016 jobs or about 5,400. Nonprofits led community food, housing, emergency and other relief services, with more than 2,900 jobs or 88 percent of its 2016 jobs. In child and youth services, nonprofits held a 68 percent share with close to 2,600 jobs. In other individual and family services, nonprofits held a 44 percent share, with about 5,000 jobs.
Services for the Elderly and Disabled

Oregon’s largest industry in the social assistance group is charged with improving the quality of life for elderly clients, persons diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or persons with disabilities. These nonresidential social assistance services include non-medical homecare for the elderly, activity centers for disabled persons, companion services, senior centers, and others.

Employment in services for the elderly and disabled averaged about 24,200 jobs in 2016, holding a 39 percent share of the social assistance group’s employment. Services for the elderly and disabled rose by more than 9,100 jobs since 2006, an increase of 62 percent in 10 years. Services for the elderly and disabled produced a payroll total of $512.3 million in 2016.

Government was the leading employer in services for the elderly and disabled, with nearly 17,600 jobs in 2016. State government accounted for more than 16,800 jobs, leaving local governments with fewer than 800 jobs or about 4 percent of the total. State government services for the elderly and disabled were primarily delivered by home care workers, with that group alone averaging more than 16,600 jobs in 2016. Annual wages in state government services for the elderly and disabled averaged $20,455 in 2016, while local governments paid $44,008.

For profit private elderly and disabled service providers held a 22 percent share of the industry’s jobs in 2016 or about 5,200 jobs. Nonprofits averaged 1,400 jobs or about 6 percent of the industry’s total. Wages in nonprofits averaged $26,758 in 2016, while private for profit jobs paid $19,312.

Child Day Care Services

This industry is engaged in providing day care of infants or children and may also offer pre-kindergarten educational programs. Child day care services averaged about 11,700 jobs in 2016, holding 19 percent of the social assistance group’s total. Wages paid by child day care services in 2016 totaled $259.3 million, producing an average of $22,122.

Government maintained a small presence in child care services with just over 300 jobs in 2016, while private industry’s 97 percent or 11,400 were fairly evenly split between nonprofit (46%) and for profit employers (51%). Child day care services rose by nearly 3,100 jobs since 2006, an increase of 36 percent.

Other Individual and Family Services

This industry is primarily engaged in providing nonresidential individual and family social assistance services. Other individual and family services averaged just over 11,400 jobs in 2016 holding a 19 percent share of the social assistance group’s employment. Other individual and family services rose by more than 3,800 jobs since 2006, an increase of 50 percent in 10 years. Other individual and family services produced a payroll total of $452.6 million in 2016, while its wages averaged $39,571.

Government held close to half of all jobs (48%) in other individual and family services, with more than 5,500 jobs in 2016. State government accounted for about 4,400 jobs, leaving local governments with nearly 1,100. Government payrolls in other individual and family services totaled $264.5 million and wages in 2016 averaged $47,934.

Non-profits represented most of private industry’s other individual and family services jobs, averaging nearly 5,000, compared with fewer than 1,000 in for profits. Private payrolls totaled $188 million in 2016 and other individual and family services paid an average of $31,774.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing vocational rehabilitation or habilitation services, such as job counseling. Vocational rehabilitation job training facilities (except schools) and sheltered workshops are included in this industry. Vocational rehabilitation services averaged about 7,500 jobs, representing 12 percent of the social assistance group’s employment. The industry gained about 1,800 jobs since 2006, an increase of 31 percent in 10 years. Vocational rehabilitation services produced a payroll total of $259.3 million in 2016, while its wages averaged $26,579.

Private industry accounted for nearly all of vocational rehabilitation services’ jobs, holding a 95 percent share, with nearly 7,200. Nonprofits accounted for about 6,300 jobs (83%), leaving for profits with around 900 (12%) of the industry’s total. Private industry’s payroll totaled $181.5 million, with an average wage of $25,308. Government’s payroll topped $18 million with wages averaging $52,999.

Child and Youth Services

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing nonresidential social assistance services for children and youth. Child and youth services averaged about 3,800 jobs in 2016, holding 6 percent of the social assistance group’s employment total. Wages paid by child and youth services totaled $128.6 million, producing an average of $33,497.

Private industry dominated child and youth services, with 81 percent of its jobs, about 3,100. Private industry payrolls reached nearly $95 million with pay averaging $30,471. Nonprofits alone represented two-thirds of child and youth services jobs with nearly 2,600. Government averaged just over 700 jobs, about 19 percent of the industry’s total, with a payroll of $33.7 million. Local government held a 17 percent share of the industry’s jobs, leaving state government 2 percent. Government wages in child and youth services averaged $46,477 in 2016.

Community Food and Housing Services, Emergency and Other Relief Services

Nonprofits dominated these three social assistance industries: 1) community food services; 2) temporary shelters; and 3) community housing services. These industries averaged about 3,300 jobs in 2016 with more than 2,900 or 88 percent supported by non-profits.

Nearly all of emergency and other relief services jobs were nonprofit based, with around 600 jobs and a payroll of $37.9 million. Its wages averaged $67,254 in 2016, making emergency and other relief services the highest payed industry in the social assistance group.

Community housing services averaged about 2,000 jobs in 2016 with 83 percent supported by nonprofits and 12 percent by private, for profit employers. Its payroll totaled $67.3 million and its wages averaged $33,232.

Community food services averaged about 700 jobs in 2016 with 91 percent supported by nonprofits. Its payroll totaled $23.6 million and its pay averaged $31,946.

 


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