Northwest Oregon had about 7,311 private sector vacancies on average per day in 2021.
This is an increase from an average of 2,255 vacancies in 2020. The industry with the most vacancies was leisure and hospitality; there were an average of 1,957 vacancies each day.
These job vacancy estimates come from a survey of 1,500 private sector employers with two or more employees in northwest Oregon during the year.
The 7,311 vacancies are estimated from ad hoc surveys. The survey is sent to employers quarterly and respondents are asked about the vacancies they have at that time. Responses to the four quarterly surveys were combined to estimate the average number of vacancies during the year.
To put the recreation and hospitality average of 1,957 vacancies into more context, the industry in northwest Oregon had an estimated average annual employment of 14,780 in 2021. The industry therefore employed approximately just under 90% of the number of people she would have preferred in 2021. Additionally, the Census Bureau estimates that 4,226 people were hired into the industry in 2021, an average of nearly 12 hires per day.
Two other major industries in northwest Oregon also topped the list for having the most vacancies. Health care and social assistance and retail trade occupied the second and third positions. Healthcare and social assistance averaged 1,908 openings throughout 2021. Retail averaged 1,005 openings. These industries are among the largest in northwest Oregon, so it’s no surprise that they had the most vacancies in 2021.
The survey also revealed that the most vacant occupations were maids and cleaners (mainly in accommodation); personal care aides; retail sellers; and cashiers. Most of the vacancies were for relatively low-paying positions. Despite the tight labor market, employers were offering less than $15 an hour for 38% of all job vacancies. Only 6% of vacancies offered $25 an hour or more.
Nearly 75% of job vacancies had no education requirement or only required a high school diploma. These vacancies also tended to offer lower wages.
Vacancies that required post-secondary training demonstrated the importance of obtaining education or training beyond high school. The average salary for vacancies requiring post-secondary education was $23.52 per hour, almost all of which were permanent positions and 81% were full-time jobs.
The 2021 job vacancy survey bolsters other research that shows job seekers in Northwest Oregon can benefit from additional education and training at local community colleges, centers employment and apprenticeships.
Erik Knoder is a regional economist at the Oregon Department of Employment. He can be reached at 541-351-5595.