Race and Ethnicity of the Mid-Valley Workforce - 2017

by Will Summers

January 15, 2019

In Oregon and the Mid-Valley, the workforce has grown more diverse over the years. The total workforce in Oregon has grown 50.3 percent since 1992, growing from 1.2 million in 1992 to 1.8 million in 2017. The workforce has grown 46.5 percent in the Mid-Valley counties since 1992.

Two groups within the workforce have almost doubled their share of employment during that time period in Oregon. Asian Alone grew from 2.4 percent to 5.0 percent of the workforce and Two or More Race Groups grew from 1.6 percent to 3.1 percent of the workforce. All the other minority racial groups also grew, while the largest racial group, White Alone, dropped from 93.1 percent to 87.4 percent of the workforce.
Ethnic diversity in the Oregon workforce has also improved over the past 25 years. In 1992, Hispanic/Latino workers accounted for 4.4 percent of the workforce. By 2017, the Hispanic/Latino share of the workforce grew to 11.6 percent.

Mid-Valley counties also saw the percentage of minorities in the workforce grow over the past 25 years. The minority workforce populations with the most percentage growth mirrored the state – Asian Alone and Two or More Race Groups. The largest racial group, White Alone, dropped from 94.5 percent to 90.0 percent. The Hispanic/Latino workforce has also grown, from 6.7 percent in 1992 to 15.9 percent in 2017. The Mid-Valley’s Hispanic/Latino population is one of the largest in the state.
Josh Lehner, an economist with Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis, recently posted a report titled Migration Diversifies Oregon, Barely. He summed it up at the end of the post thusly: “Bottom Line: Oregon is becoming more diverse over time. This is in part due to births, but also in part due to migration trends. However, these shifts are small in any given year. Demographics change only slowly over time, but are powerful forces.”

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