Spring 2023 Hiring Among Oregon’s Private Employers

by Anna Johnson

July 27, 2023

Each quarter, the Oregon Employment Department surveys private employers from all industries and areas of the state to ask about the job vacancies they are actively trying to fill. Oregon businesses reported 69,200 job vacancies in spring 2023. Vacancies decreased 8% from the winter and decreased 35% from spring 2022. This is the fourth quarterly decline in Oregon job vacancies, after a streak of four quarters above 100,000 vacancies. Pre-pandemic, the record high was 66,600 vacancies in summer 2017.

The number of private-sector job openings in the U.S. peaked at 11.4 million in April 2022. Openings over the last two years have significantly exceeded the previous high of 7.0 million seen in April 2019.

The unemployed-to-vacancy ratio for the U.S. and Oregon remained low in spring 2023. In April 2023, there were 9.8 million private-sector job openings in the United States, as measured by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, and 5.1 million people were unemployed, resulting in a U.S. ratio of 0.5 unemployed people per job opening (or one unemployed person per two job openings). This is the eighth straight quarter at or below a ratio of 1.0.

In April 2023, there were 60,400 unemployed Oregonians and the number of job vacancies fell to 69,200 leaving 0.9 unemployed people for every job opening (or nine unemployed people for every 10 openings).

Graph showing U.S. and Oregon Unemployed to Job Vacancy Ratios Still Low after Spring 2020 Peak (Job Openings with Private Employers, 2013-2023)

Most openings in the spring were for full-time, permanent positions. Education beyond high school was required for 44% of spring vacancies. A majority of employers reported their vacancies as difficult to fill, accounting for 59% of vacancies in spring 2023, down from 77% in spring 2022.

The average starting wage reported in spring was $27.41, an 11% inflation adjusted increase from the winter and a very strong 22% inflation-adjusted increase from spring 2022. Total vacancies were down 35% from the level in spring 2022. The number of vacancies offering a starting wage below $20 per hour decreased 60% from spring 2022. The number of vacancies offering between $20 and $30 per hour decreased 22%, and vacancies paying above $30 per hour increased 40%.

Table showing Oregon Job Vacancies, Spring 2023

Hiring demand was widespread throughout industries and occupations. Six out of 14 major sectors were hiring for more than 5,000 positions at any given time in spring 2023. Health care and social assistance topped the industry list this spring, with 17,800 vacancies. Management, administrative, and waste serviced accounted for 8,100 vacancies. The leisure and hospitality industry had 7,900 job vacancies.

Table showing Oregon Job Vacancies by Industry, Spring 2023

Employers reported vacancies in 243 different occupations. The occupation groups with the most vacancies in spring 2023 were office and administrative support (7,700), food preparation and serving related (6,900), and health care practitioner and technical (6,600). Detailed occupations reported most frequently included production workers, customer service representatives, project management specialists, and personal care aides. 

Spring vacancies were distributed across the state, with the Portland tri-county area accounting for about 42%. Vacancies decreased over the year in every region of the state, with the largest declines in Clackamas and the Mid-Valley.  

Table showing Oregon Job Vacancies by Geography Spring 2023

More details about Oregon Job Vacancies are available on QualityInfo.org, on the publications page under Job Vacancy Survey.

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