Made in Oregon: A Brief Profile of the State’s Manufacturing Sector
Oregon’s manufacturing sector is growing more quickly than the nation’s. Since its lowest employment level in February and March 2010, manufacturing employment in Oregon has grown by 18.6 percent compared with the nation’s 8.7 percent. However, as of September 2017 manufacturing employment in Oregon is still 16,200 jobs below its pre-recession peak in June 2006.
On top of faster growth, Oregon’s manufacturing sector is also a larger component of the economy than it is for the nation. While manufacturing made up 8.5 percent of payroll employment in the United States in September 2017, it made up 10.2 percent of Oregon’s employment.
The largest detailed industry by far is the semiconductor and electronic components industry (29,900 jobs). It also pays far more on average than any other manufacturing industries ($142,000). Other high-paying industries on the list include electronic instrument manufacturing ($103,000) and aerospace product and parts manufacturing ($83,700).
True to Oregon’s long history in forestry, two of Oregon’s top industries are tied to our natural resources: veneer and engineered wood products (8,600 jobs) and sawmills and wood preservation (6,400 jobs). While employment in wood product manufacturing is but a fraction of what it was a few decades ago, these two industries combined play an influential role in Oregon’s manufacturing sector.
The share of manufacturing workers by gender has remained unchanged for the past 20 years. In 1997, about 73 percent of the manufacturing workforce was male, and 27 percent female. These shares were the same in 2016, and remained almost exactly the same throughout the past two decades.