By Employment Department of Oregon
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 46,300 vacancies in summer 2020. Total job openings increased from the level in the spring at the onset of the COVID-19 recession (+9%), but remained well below the level last summer (-26%).
The number of unemployed surged in the spring with layoffs related to the pandemic, both in Oregon and across the United States. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, by April there were 4.8 unemployed people for every job opening in the United States, a spike from the ratio of 1-to-1 seen throughout the last three years. In July 2020, job openings in the U.S. rose above 6.2 million, resulting in a ratio of 2.7 unemployed people per job opening.
In Oregon, the ratio shot even higher in the spring as the number of unemployed surged. In spring 2020, there were 7.1 unemployed people for every job vacancy, similar to the ratio measured in early 2013 as the state was recovering from the Great Recession. By July, the number of unemployed in Oregon had dropped by more than 70,000, leaving 4.8 unemployed Oregonians for every job vacancy in summer 2020.
A few other highlights from Oregon’s summer Job Vacancy Survey:
– 18 percent of businesses responding in spring reported closures or curtailments due to COVID-19. This figure dropped to 7 percent in summer.
– Most openings in summer were for full-time, permanent positions.
– Health care and social assistance topped the industry list with 8,400 vacancies.
– The average starting wage for vacancies in summer was $19.18.
For more on job vacancies, read economist Jessica Nelson’s full article at QualityInfo.org.