Oregon: 43,000 job vacancies this summer

About 3,700 on High Desert

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon's private employers had approximately 42,900 job vacancies during summer 2013, according to a Job Vacancy Survey recently completed by the Oregon Employment Department.

In July, there were 157,300 unemployed Oregonians, or roughly four unemployed people for each private-sector vacancy. Nationally, there were three unemployed for each vacancy in July.  

The summer figure of 42,900 was the highest estimate of Oregon job vacancies since before the Great Recession. The increase reflects a variety of fair-weather job opportunities that occur during the summer and coincides with relatively strong job growth in Oregon in recent months.

Seventy percent of summer vacancies were for full-time positions, and a slightly higher share were permanent positions. Most vacancies required previous experience; in the summer this share hit 79 percent, up from 72 percent in the winter and 60 percent in the spring survey panel. Employers reported half of the summer vacancies as difficult to fill.

By occupation group, office and administrative support, personal care and service, and food preparation and serving occupations had the most vacancies in summer 2013. Six additional occupation groups had more than 2,000 vacancies estimated in the summer.

The industries with the most vacancies this summer were management, administrative and waste services (which includes company headquarters and temporary staffing agencies, among other businesses); leisure and hospitality; and health care and social assistance. The health care and social assistance industry usually dominates Oregon job vacancies and they came in third in the summer.

The survey captured vacancies in five sub-state regions: Northwest Oregon/Willamette Valley; the Portland Tri-County area; Southwestern Oregon; Central Oregon; and Eastern Oregon.

The Portland Tri-County area had 21,700 vacancies, just more than half of the statewide total – a percentage roughly equivalent to the area's share of total employment. Central Oregon's survey reported 3,753 vacancies.

About the Survey

The Employment Department has moved to a quarterly Oregon Job Vacancy Survey, replacing the annual survey that has been in place since 2008. The fall 2012 survey captured 31,200 vacancies. Following seasonal employment patterns, vacancies declined to 22,900 in the first quarterly panel in winter 2013, then surged up to 35,200 during the spring, and hit 42,900 in the summer.

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the fourth quarter 2013 figures from the Oregon Job Vacancy Survey in early January.

For more details on recent Oregon job vacancies, visit the "publications" tab on www.QualityInfo.org and scroll down to the section titled "Quarterly Job Vacancies Snapshots."

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