The Oregon job market and economy took a hit during the recession. This was due primarily to a decline in the state's durable manufacturing business as demand for home-building products dropped off when the national housing market slowed. With the real estate market steadying, the Beaver State's economy and employment conditions are expected to recover, creating an expanding array of jobs for the state's nearly 2 million workers.
Oregon Job Opportunities
Over the past decades, Oregon has worked to transition its economy away from the traditional resource sectors of timber, fishing and agriculture. Even though Oregon is still the largest lumber producer in the US, the state's five key industries are advanced manufacturing, clean technology, forest and wood products, high technology, and outdoor gear and apparel.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector represents nearly 20 percent of total employment in Oregon. Government, the second-largest hiring sector, has reported recent hiring slowdowns, along with the financial activities sector. Construction, other services and education/health services have reported the strongest percentage expansion in jobs.
Oregon Employment Trends
Oregon job conditions are better, yet still slow. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 11.6 percent in mid-2009, had fallen below 9 percent by early 2012. Oregon payrolls, which fell for more than two years, have been positive since mid-2010; however, expansion dropped off in early 2012. Online job postings have reported mixed growth over the past year, and are still well below prerecession levels.
The supply of Oregon jobs will increase 1.7 percent between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, greater than the 1.3 percent gain expected in the US job supply, Moody's Analytics forecasts.