Fall 2022 Hiring Among Oregon’s Private Employers

by Anna Johnson

January 23, 2023

Each quarter, the Oregon Employment Department surveys private employers from all industries and areas of the state to ask about the job vacancies they are actively trying to fill. Oregon businesses reported 86,000 job vacancies in fall 2022. Total job openings decreased 9% from summer 2022 and decreased 16% from fall 2021. Although the fall 2022 vacancies are a decrease from the prior quarters, the 86,000 vacancies are still historically high. Pre-pandemic, the record high for Oregon was 66,600 vacancies in summer 2017. The high level of job vacancies is not unique to Oregon right now. The number of private-sector job openings in the U.S. has been between 9.3 and 11.3 million since July 2021, beating the previous high seen in April 2019 (7.0 million) significantly.

The unemployed-to-vacancy ratio remained low in fall 2022, as the economy continued to add jobs after the COVID-19 recession. In October 2022, there were 10.0 million private-sector job openings in the United States, as measured by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, and 5.6 million people were unemployed, resulting in a U.S. ratio of 0.6 unemployed people per job opening (or six unemployed persons per 10 job vacancies). The number of unemployed has declined swiftly since surging in spring 2020 with layoffs related to the pandemic, resulting in a U.S. ratio of more than five unemployed people for every job opening in April 2020.

In Oregon, the ratio shot even higher in spring 2020 as the number of unemployed surged,  resulting in 6.0 unemployed people for every job vacancy, similar to the ratio measured in early 2013 as the state was recovering from the Great Recession. The ratio has steadily improved since the initial spike in spring 2020. In October 2022, there were 88,400 unemployed Oregonians and the number of job vacancies stayed near record levels, leaving one unemployed person for every job opening.

Most openings in the fall were for full-time, permanent positions. Education beyond high school was required for 33% of fall vacancies. A majority of employers in almost every industry reported their vacancies as difficult to fill. Overall, 75% of vacancies were considered difficult to fill.

The average starting wage reported in fall was $24.12, a 5.5% inflation-adjusted increase from fall 2021. Total vacancies were down 16% from the level in fall 2021. The number of vacancies offering a starting wage below $15 per hour decreased 47% over the year. The number of vacancies offering between $15 and $25 per hour decreased 5%, and vacancies paying above $25 per hour increased 14%.

Hiring demand was widespread throughout industries and occupations. Eight out of 14 major sectors were hiring for more than 4,000 positions at any given time in fall 2022. In contrast, prior to the pandemic in fall 2019, five out of 14 sectors saw this level of hiring. Health care and social assistance topped the industry list this fall, with 21,000 vacancies. The leisure and hospitality industry had the second most vacancies of any industry, with 11,800 job vacancies.

Employers reported vacancies in 240 different occupations. The occupations with the most vacancies in fall 2022 included personal care aides (3,300), nursing assistants (3,000), and fast food and counter workers (2,600).

Fall vacancies were distributed across the state, with the Portland tri-county area accounting for about 44%. Vacancies decreased over the year in every region of the state, except in Clackamas County and Southwestern Oregon.

More details about Oregon Job Vacancies are available on QualityInfo.org, on the publications page under Job Vacancy Survey.


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