Oregon hits record vacant jobs

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog

Oregon businesses reported 61,000 job vacancies in summer 2016. That marks an increase of 19,700 job vacancies from the prior summer, and the largest number of job vacancies recorded in the state since the Oregon Job Vacancy Survey began in 2008.

After easing down since last summer, the share of job vacancies identified as difficult to fill rose again. Businesses said they faced challenges filling 63 percent of all vacancies. The share of job vacancies requiring previous experience has slowly drifted downward over the past two years. A majority (57%) of summer job vacancies still required previous experience though.

As is usually the case, health care reported the largest number of vacancies (11,600). Leisure and hospitality recorded the second-highest total (8,900), and construction continued its strong showing with 6,900 summer job openings. These three sectors accounted for almost half (45%) of all summer vacancies statewide. Even so, job openings were broad-based across the economy. Nine different industries reported at least 2,000 vacancies in summer. The number of vacancies more than doubled from summer 2015 in manufacturing, administrative and waste services, professional and technical services, and financial activities.

The average wage for job vacancies rose to $16.66 per hour in summer, a gain of more than $1 per hour from the prior year. The average was pulled up by a doubling of job vacancies with starting wages of at least $25 per hour. Occupations with the most vacancies in this high-wage category included carpenters, registered nurses, and electricians.

For more details on recent Oregon job vacancies, visit the publications page on QualityInfo.org and scroll down to the “Job Vacancy Survey” section.

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