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Boom: Oregon breaks construction record!

October 11, 2018

By Oregon Employment Department,

Oregon’s construction industry reached a record high number of jobs in recent months, employing nearly 110,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The industry added jobs steadily and rapidly in recent years, following a prolonged slump in 2009 through 2012, when employment remained near 70,000 for several years after the last recession.

Looking back 30 years, clearly the industry has been highly cyclical – experiencing booms and busts over the course of multi-year expansions that were followed by briefer, but potentially precipitous contractions. In the late 1990s the industry hovered close to 80,000 jobs for several years, dropped some jobs in a mild recession and then resumed its climb. Just before the 2008 recession, Oregon’s construction industry was slightly below today’s employment total, at about 104,000 jobs.

During the past several decades, at least since the late 1980s, Oregon’s economy and population have been on a generally expansionary trend. Population typically grew about 1 percent per year, primarily due to net in-migration – more people moving into Oregon compared with the number moving out.

Because the population has been steadily expanding, it can be helpful to look at the construction industry’s total jobs relative to overall employment. This tells us the percent of total nonfarm jobs employed by the industry. Over the past 30 years, construction has employed between 4 percent and 6 percent of Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment. The lowest share during this period occurred in 1992, when 4 percent were employed in construction. Not far behind was the period from 2010 through 2012 when about 4.2 percent of payroll jobs were found in construction.

The housing-price boom leading up to the last recession coincided with the biggest share of construction jobs, as construction employed 6 percent of all nonfarm payroll jobs during much of 2006 and 2007. Currently, Oregon’s construction industry isn’t quite as concentrated as that period, with 5.7 percent of nonfarm jobs in the industry as of July of this year.

Leading up to the past two national recessions, Oregon’s construction employment has either trended downward, as was the case in 1997 through 2000, or abruptly tanked, as occurred just prior to, and certainly during, the recession of 2008 and 2009. The good news is that construction employment in Oregon has grown quite rapidly over the past few years and hasn’t shown any sign of downturn yet.

Learn more about employment in Oregon’s construction industry, read the full article written by the Current Employment Statistics Coordinator David Cooke.
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Bob Clark October 11, 2018

It would have been nice if the federal government via Freddie MAC and FANNie MAE hadn’t of underwritten all those subprime mortgages in the early to mid 00s, which then went bad and caused long lasting damage to the housing industry. We are still trying to accommodate the pent up in-migration pulse we got a few years back. And only now does Metro slowly react to the expanding population by allowing some expansion of the Urban “Growth” Boundary.

The Banks may have served the spiked punch in the early to mid 00s, but the federal government was fully engaged helping supply the spiked punch to the punch bowl.

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