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One-third of Firms Plan to Hire Within Six Months
1/9/2012
CONTACT: Charlie Johnson
Senior Analyst
(503) 947-1268
Charlie.B.Johnson@state.or.us

The Oregon Employment Department has released the results of its third Future Hiring Survey, conducted in fall 2011. Responses from employers show that 33 percent of companies plan to hire workers within six months. Employer expectations and outlooks have not improved since the survey was conducted one year prior.

Almost half (46%) of the companies in the leisure and hospitality industry indicate plans to hire, the highest percent of any industry. Natural resources and mining (44%) and health care and social assistance (40%) industries were the next most-likely to be hiring. Employers in the construction, financial activities, and other services industries were least likely to have hiring plans in the near term; fewer than 25 percent of firms in each of these sectors indicated plans to hire within six months.

Statewide, 19 percent of all employers plan to hire within six months due to employee turnover, 9 percent due to normal seasonal hiring patterns, 8 percent due to the expansion of their workforce, and 3 percent in an effort to restore employment declines suffered during the most recent recession. Some employers indicated multiple reasons for hiring.

While one-third of employers anticipate some hiring in the near future, only 11 percent anticipate that their employment levels will increase within six months.  By comparison, 14 percent expect their payrolls to shrink during the same period. Two-thirds of companies anticipate no change in their current employment level within the next six months.

Employers in Central Oregon and the Columbia Gorge were the most likely to indicate plans to hire, while employers in Southern Oregon were the least likely. However, employers across all areas of the state showed the same trend: between 30 and 40 percent of respondents plan to hire within six months.

Employers were asked to share reasons why they may not hire in the near future.  One-half (51%) of respondents shared reasons related to the general economy, while 37 percent of respondents specifically cited the recent recession as something that may prevent them from hiring. A much smaller share of respondents (14%) indicated that issues related to government, such as high taxes, excessive regulations, or state budget cuts, may prevent hiring. Roughly 29 percent of respondents shared other reasons for not hiring, such as the seasonal nature of their work or currently having adequate staff. Five percent of respondents said a lack of qualified applicants may prevent them from hiring.

Employers were asked in which occupations they plan to hire. The three most common occupational groups cited by respondents were office and administrative support; food preparation and serving related; and sales and related occupations. Among the occupational groups least cited were computer and mathematical; legal; life, physical, and social science; and protective service occupations.

The full report is available on the Oregon Employment Department’s workforce and economic information web site at www.QualityInfo.org/pubs/future/future_hiring3.pdf.