Oregon alcohol industry jobs outpace tech sector

Suds top software - but not in terms of wages

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon's software industry has been growing fast, but the state's economic development agency says it has been outpaced by another sector - the alcohol industry - since the Great Recession.

The Oregon Department of Economic Analysis says software employment was up by 6,900 jobs between January 2008 and September 2016. But the alcohol industry was up by 7,400 jobs during the same time span.

Senior state economist Josh Lehner says people who brew beer, distill alcohol and make wine may have lower wages on average than those in the software industry, but the booze business brings other economic benefits.

Lehner says alcohol production is a value-added industry with a geographic spread across the state, impacting agricultural production, equipment manufacturing and marketing services.

He says software remains a high-wage and fast-growing sector that contributes to Oregon's economic diversity.

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