Summer 2022 Hiring Among Oregon’s Private EmployersOctober 14, 2022
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 94,400 job vacancies in summer 2022. Total job openings decreased 11% from the spring and decreased 12% from summer 2021. Although the summer 2022 vacancies are a decrease from the prior quarters, the 94,400 vacancies are still historically high. Pre-pandemic, the record high for Oregon was 66,600 vacancies in summer 2017. The high level of job vacancies is not unique to Oregon right now. The number of private-sector job openings in the U.S. has been between 9.3 and 11.3 million since July 2021, beating the previous high seen in April 2019 (7.0 million) significantly.
The unemployed-to-vacancy ratio remained low in summer 2022, as the economy continued to add jobs after the COVID-19 recession. As pandemic spikes and restrictions have eased, in July 2022 there were 11.0 million private-sector job openings in the United States, as measured by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, and 6.3 million people were unemployed, resulting in a U.S. ratio of 0.6 unemployed people per job opening (or six unemployed persons per 10 job vacancies). The number of unemployed has declined swiftly since surging in spring 2020 with layoffs related to the pandemic, resulting in a U.S. ratio of more than five unemployed people for every job opening in April 2020. In Oregon, the ratio shot even higher in spring 2020 as the number of unemployed surged, resulting in 6.0 unemployed people for every job vacancy, similar to the ratio measured in early 2013 as the state was recovering from the Great Recession. The ratio has steadily improved since the initial spike in spring 2020. In July 2022, there were 86,600 unemployed Oregonians and the number of job vacancies stayed near record levels, leaving nine unemployed persons for every 10 job openings.
Most openings in the summer were for full-time, permanent positions. Education beyond high school was required for 33% of summer vacancies. A majority of employers in almost every industry reported their vacancies as difficult to fill. Overall, 65% of vacancies were considered difficult to fill, the lowest Oregon has seen since winter 2021.
The average starting wage reported in summer 2022 was $22.26, a 2.6% inflation-adjusted increase from summer 2021. Total vacancies were down 12% from the level last summer. The number of vacancies offering a starting wage below $15 per hour dropped by 58% over the year. The number of vacancies offering between $15 and $25 per hour decreased 3%, and vacancies paying above $25 per hour increased 33%.
Hiring demand was widespread throughout industries and occupations. Nine out of 14 major sectors were hiring for more than 5,000 positions at any given time in summer 2022. In contrast, prior to the pandemic in summer 2019, five out of 14 sectors saw this level of hiring. Health care and social assistance topped the industry list this summer, with 19,600 vacancies. The leisure and hospitality industry had the second most vacancies of any industry, with 12,400 job vacancies.
Employers reported vacancies in 260 different occupations. The occupations with the most vacancies in summer 2022 included retail salespersons, nursing assistants, truck drivers, customer service representatives, production workers, fast food and counter workers, and personal care aides.
Summer vacancies were distributed across the state, with the Portland tri-county area accounting for about 46%. Vacancies decreased over the year in every region of the state, except the Portland metro area and Northwest Oregon.
More details about Oregon Job Vacancies are available on QualityInfo.org, on the publications page under Job Vacancy Survey.