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Forecasters Expect Long-term Job Growth in Oregon
12/15/2011
CONTACT: Charlie Johnson
Senior Analyst
(503) 947-1268
Charlie.B.Johnson@state.or.us

The Oregon Employment Department has released its projection of employment for the year 2020. The projections point to modest job growth between 2010 and 2020, with many job openings needed to replace workers who leave their current occupations.
 
The department’s forecasters expect economic growth to add nearly 300,000 jobs to the state’s payrolls, a gain of 18 percent over the next decade. Over the last decade, from 2000 to 2010, Oregon’s payrolls shrank by one percent. All broad industry sectors are expected to gain jobs between 2010 and 2020.
 
The private education and health care services industry, dominated by health care jobs, is expected to grow by 30 percent and add nearly 68,000 jobs to meet the needs of the state’s growing and aging population. Professional and business services will grow by about 27 percent or roughly 49,000 jobs. Construction is expected to grow by 27 percent, adding nearly 19,000 jobs. The slowest-growing sector is government with 7 percent growth over the decade, followed by financial activities with 13 percent growth and information with 14 percent growth. Although they are projected to grow from their 2010 levels, the construction, manufacturing, and financial activities industries are not anticipated to reach their pre-recession employment levels before the year 2020.
 
In addition to modest job growth in the economy as a whole, many job openings should result from workers leaving their occupations to change careers or retire. In addition to the 300,000 job openings due to economic growth, department forecasters expect 428,000 openings to replace current workers who leave their occupations. In fact, three out of every five occupational openings throughout the decade will be due to worker replacement.
 
Of the 728,000 total openings that are expected to occur within ten years, only 31 percent will require education beyond high school as a minimum qualification. However, additional education and training usually makes job seekers more competitive, especially in a weak labor market. Over the next decade, 54 percent of total job openings will likely require education beyond high school to be competitive in the hiring process even though it may not be a minimum requirement of the job. Similarly, a bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree will be considered the competitive education level for 26 percent of all openings.
 
In terms of total change in employment, retail salespersons and registered nurses are the two occupations expected to add the most jobs before 2020. However, a number of health care-related occupations dominate the list of the fastest-growing occupations in terms of percent change. Largely as a result of replacement openings, occupations like retail salespersons, cashiers, and waiters and waitresses will have the most total openings over the period – more than 20,000 each.
 
Projections for Oregon’s 15 workforce regions show the fastest growth near the Portland Metro area. Regions 2 and 15 (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties) are projected to grow by 21 percent. Region 5 (Lane County) is projected to grow by 18 percent. All other workforce regions are projected to grow at a slower pace than the statewide average. Eastern Oregon and the South Coast are projected to grow slower than any other areas of the state.
The projections are available on the Oregon Employment Department’s workforce and economic information web site at www.QualityInfo.org. Select a region from the map and look in the Publications tab for Regional Projections by Industry and Occupation 2010-2020.