Second Quarter 2022: Oregonians at Work – Growing Wages and Increasing JobsFebruary 24, 2023
Oregon had 1.96 million people working in jobs covered by the state’s unemployment insurance system during the second quarter of 2022. This was an increase of 27,000, or 1.4%, from the same quarter of the previous year. They earned a total of $30.4 billion, with an average wage of about $15,526 per worker for the quarter. The median hourly wage during the quarter was $24.79.
Real Wage Gains in Service Sectors
Oregon employers reported more than 2.1 million jobs during the second quarter of 2022. The vast majority of Oregonians (89.2%) held one job during the second quarter of 2022. Approximately 9.4% of workers in the second quarter of 2022 held two jobs, 1.1% of workers held three jobs, and 0.2% of workers held four or more jobs. This looks almost identical to a year ago in the second quarter of 2021. The number of people holding one, two, or three jobs increased by between 1.4% and 1.8% over the year. Those with four or more jobs decreased by 4.4% from a year ago.
Since the pandemic recession and subsequent tight labor market, there has been a fair share of job-switching as workers look for different jobs. The percent of people in the workforce during second quarter 2022 that were in the workforce one year ago was 81.2% which is consistent with the second quarter of prior years. However, what’s interesting is that the percent of workers in the same primary industry versus new primary industry has shifted. Historically, almost one out of seven workers worked in a new primary industry compared with a year prior, while the other six out of seven workers were working in the same primary industry. However, this number jumped to almost one out of four workers in a new primary industry. About 77% of the workforce in second quarter 2022 worked in the same primary industry compared with second quarter 2021.
The median wage rose by an inflation-adjusted $0.16 over the year. Six industries saw real gains in which the median wage grew by more than $0.16: transportation, warehousing, and utilities; leisure and hospitality; information; professional and business services; health care and social assistance; and manufacturing. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities saw the biggest real gain in median wage percentage growth from second quarter 2021 to second quarter 2022. Private educational services jobs saw the biggest decrease in real median wage – in both real dollar value and real percentage change.
Widespread Upper Wage Growth
Upper wage growth ($50 per hour or more) across all industries was 17% between the second quarters of 2021 and 2022. Eight industries – construction, information, professional and business services, private educational services, leisure and hospitality, other services, state government, and non-classifiable – had faster upper wage growth than all industries.
The number of jobs paying less than $15 per hour decreased by 155,300. Jobs paying $15.00 to $29.99 per hour increased by 92,000, and jobs paying $30.00 to $49.99 increased by 40,700. Jobs paying at least $50 per hour increased by 54,600. With almost 32,000 new jobs over the year, there was wage growth across all industries, potentially due in part to the tight labor market.
The number of jobs paying less than $15 per hour decreased by 42%. Retail trade and leisure and hospitality had the largest absolute losses in jobs paying under $15 per hour from second quarter 2021 to second quarter 2022, losing over 30,000 jobs in the under $15 per hour wage category. Natural resources and mining; professional and business services; and health care and social assistance also had job losses of more than 10,000 each in this wage category.
The number of jobs paying $15 to $29.99 increased by 9%. Leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and professional and business services had the largest gains in number of jobs in this wage category. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities had the largest number of job losses in this wage category.
All industries experienced an increase in the number of jobs paying $30 to $49.99 per hour over the year, except for information which experienced a loss of over 500 jobs. This hourly wage category had a 10% increase in the number of jobs from second quarter 2021 to second quarter 2022.
Finally, the number of jobs paying at least $50 per hour increased by 17%. Professional and business services had the largest absolute gain, followed by health care and social assistance and local government. Financial activities and natural resources and mining had slight job losses in this wage category.
Share of Employment Across Industries
The share of jobs in every wage category, except those with wages greater than $50 per hour, increased the most in leisure and hospitality over the year. The leisure and hospitality industry increased by 22,300 jobs over the year, or 10.1%. This is likely due in part to recovery from the pandemic recession in the leisure and hospitality sector. The greatest increase in share of jobs in the $50 to $59.99 wage category from the second quarter of 2021 to second quarter 2022 was in manufacturing, while the greatest increase in share of jobs over $60 per hour was in professional and business services.
When looking at the change in number of jobs from second quarter 2021 to second quarter 2022, it can be more helpful to look at the percentage of all jobs rather than the raw numerical value to put it in perspective. For example, leisure and hospitality is a huge industry, with more than 243,700 jobs in the second quarter of 2022. This was an increase of 22,300 jobs from the second quarter of 2021. The share of jobs in leisure and hospitality increased from making up 10.5% of all jobs to 11.4%. Professional and business services, manufacturing, construction, private educational services, and non-classifiable jobs also increased in their share of all jobs. Local government added about 170 jobs from second quarter 2021 to second quarter 2022, but decreased in its share of all jobs.
To provide better data, this analysis also filters out job records that probably contain errors. Jobs that report zero hours or more than 999 hours (about 77 hours per week) worked in a quarter and jobs that paid less than the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) are excluded. Jobs that paid more than $500 per hour and reported less than 10 hours work during the quarter are also excluded.