Oregon Health Care Jobs Growing, Employment Shrinks in other Industries

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By Ken Neizgoda, Biz Reporter

Health care jobs in Oregon are on the rise as other industries experience growing unemployment, according to a news report issued in January from the state of Oregon.  Health services, which is grouped together with educational services in the report, added jobs in Oregon in December. Health care and social assistance is Oregon’s third largest small business industry in terms of employment, according the report, Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, released last month by the SBA.

“Educational and health services continues to expand, undaunted by the general economic declines experienced in nearly every other major industry. This private-sector industry added 800 jobs when a loss of 400 is the normal pattern due to the time of year,” stated the Oregon report. “Social assistance added 800 jobs for the month, leading the way with the largest gain of all published categories within the broader industry.”

Retail Jobs Continue to Decline

Oregon’s top small business employer, retail trade, actually cut jobs in December, a time when it typically hires for holiday business.

“Trade, transportation, and utilities normally adds 700 jobs in December as retailers bring staffing levels to the zenith of the year,” according to the Oregon report. “This December, they cut 1,200 jobs, continuing a pattern of weak hiring dating back to February. Retail trade shed 10,800 jobs or 5.1 percent since December 2007.”

Oregon job loss exists in virtually every industry category except for health and educational services. Manufacturing cut 3,600 jobs.

Gains in Health Care Jobs Mirror National Stats

Nationally, health care and social assistance employs the largest number of workers for both the small and overall business size categories, followed by retail and manufacturing. The surge in Oregon health care jobs potentially brings its small business employment ratios more in line with national ratios.

The increase in health care employment in Oregon mirrors national trends and reinforces the notion that the health care industry remains recession-proof.