This is the second of two articles detailing Oregon's 2010 to 2020 employment projections. The first article was published last month and focused on industry employment projections.
Highlights in the 2010 to 2020 occupational employment projections include new and replacement job openings expected to the tune of 728,000 over this period, health care occupations remaining strong, and all broad occupational categories expected to grow. But before we get too carried away with the highlights, it is important to note that employment in 2010 was 121,000 lower than in 2008, and despite moderate growth between 2010 and 2020, one out of three occupations is expected to have less employment in 2020 than it did in 2008.
The Great Recession eliminated many jobs, and it is going to take years to recover. Even with the 18.1 percent growth rate, getting back to pre-recession levels won't happen in the next decade for many occupations. When analyzing the current projections data, looking at the employment levels in 2008 compared to those in 2010 and in 2020 helps paint a clearer picture of the employment situation.
Employment in 2008 was 1,765,241. By 2010, it fell to 1,642,186. Although it is projected to rise to over 1.9 million by 2020, of the 720 occupational categories, 237 are projected to have a lower level of employment in 2020 than they did in 2008.
Carpenters had a 2008 employment level of 13,637 and it fell to 9,080 in 2010. In 2020, the level is projected to be just 11,287. There were 1,480 forester jobs in 2008 and only 778 in 2010, and just 845 jobs are anticipated in 2020. Automotive service technicians dropped from 6.067 in 2008 to 4,268 in 2010 and there are expected to be 5,057 at the end of the decade. The list goes on. Half of these 237 occupations are in construction and extraction; installation, maintenance, and repair; and production positions. Following industry trends, the long-term outlook for these positions is drab.
On the positive side, the remaining 483 occupational categories are expected to hold their own or increase employment by 2020. In addition to growth job openings, such as those caused by a new business opening or an existing business expanding, over 428,000 job openings (43% more than growth openings) are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupation (Table 1). They could leave for a variety of reasons, including retirement. The baby boom retirement bubble is here, though many boomers have reconsidered their retirement plans as their retirement fund levels dropped, their spouses lost their jobs, or just due to the economic uncertainty over the past few years.
No matter what causes a job opening, whether it is due to economic expansion or workers leaving their occupation for another, or leaving the labor force altogether, each opening equals an opportunity for another worker who is trying to enter the occupation. It also equals an opening that an employer needs to fill with a qualified applicant.
|Oregon Employment Estimates and Projections, 2010-2020|
|2,010||2,020||Change||Percent Change||Growth Openings||Replacement Openings||Total Openings|
|Total All Occupations||1,644,158||1,941,856||297,698||18.1%||299,670||428,728||728,398|
|Office and Administrative Support||262,348||309,947||47,599||18.1%||48,736||61,562||110,298|
|Professional and Related||269,963||311,684||41,721||15.5%||41,922||65,219||107,141|
|Sales and Related||171,558||197,757||26,199||15.3%||26,382||55,719||82,101|
|Management, Business, and Financial||144,607||170,037||25,430||17.6%||25,492||33,325||58,817|
|Transportation and Material Moving||118,081||138,179||20,098||17.0%||20,098||32,308||52,406|
|Construction and Extraction||58,294||72,873||14,579||25.0%||14,607||14,315||28,922|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair||58,173||66,915||8,742||15.0%||8,759||14,073||22,832|
|Farming, Fishing, and Forestry||38,902||45,177||6,275||16.1%||6,275||12,173||18,448|
|*Includes Leased Workers, Sheltered Workshop Workers, Non-covered Agricultural Workers, Home Care Workers, and Census Workers|
The occupations with the most job openings remained similar to previous projections cycles, with retail salespersons, cashiers, waiters and waitresses, food preparation workers, and registered nurses topping the list (Table 2).
|Occupations With the Most Total Job Openings 2010-2020, Oregon|
|2010||2020||Change||Percent Change||Total Openings*|
|Waiters and Waitresses||26,755||32,407||5,652||21.1%||20,420|
|Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food||35,123||41,956||6,833||19.5%||17,589|
|Office Clerks, General||32,482||38,666||6,184||19.0%||12,477|
|Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand||22,590||26,825||4,235||18.7%||12,133|
|Customer Service Representatives||21,432||26,193||4,761||22.2%||11,524|
|Janitors and Cleaners||23,505||28,288||4,783||20.3%||9,665|
|Counter Attendants in Cafeterias, Food Concessions, and Coffee Shops||9,583||11,406||1,823||19.0%||9,432|
|Farmworkers and Laborers for Crops, Nurseries, and Greenhouses||19,631||22,562||2,931||14.9%||9,359|
|Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer||20,706||24,947||4,241||20.5%||8,782|
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks||25,606||30,443||4,837||18.9%||7,919|
|General and Operations Managers||19,297||23,083||3,786||19.6%||7,726|
|Receptionists and Information Clerks||12,312||15,262||2,950||24.0%||7,119|
|Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives, Except Technical and Scientific Products||15,581||18,626||3,045||19.5%||7,070|
|Supervisors and Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers||14,859||17,584||2,725||18.3%||7,064|
|Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive||20,631||24,155||3,524||17.1%||6,526|
|Stock Clerks and Order Fillers||13,842||16,227||2,385||17.2%||6,121|
|* Total openings includes those resulting from growth and replacement|
Among the 27 are postal workers, printing-related occupations, and travel agents. No surprises here. Larger occupations on this short list include forest and conservation technicians, telecommunications equipment and line installers and repairers, and photographers.
All occupations with flat or declining employment levels from 2010 to 2020 actually do have job openings due to the need to replace workers leaving the occupation. They do not, however, have job openings related to growth. The number of growth openings for declining occupations is set at zero in the forecast. Technically, the change in employment is negative for declining occupations, but this does not translate into a negative number of job openings. For example, advertising sales agents had employment of 1,491 in 2010 and will drop to 1,460 by 2020. The employment drop of 31 equates to no growth job openings because logic tells us that you can't have a negative number of job openings. Replacement openings factor in the lost jobs for occupations with declining employment. Add in the 451 replacement openings and the data show 451 total job openings from 2010 to 2020.
Less than one-quarter of all projected job openings require a college degree (Graph 1). The majority of openings will require related work experience, or the occupations allow for adequate training while on the job. This training may last for a few days or several months until the worker is fluent with the job duties.
Analysts also looked at the education and training levels that generally make individuals more competitive in the job market. This is the education level that some recommend that students acquire to help them be competitive throughout their career. At the competitive level, 35 percent of job openings require a college degree, 19 percent require some postsecondary training, such as a certificate, and the remaining 46 percent require related work experience.
Nearly all of the management, business, and financial jobs in 2010 are high wage (based on the median 2011 wage for each occupation in this category). High-wage jobs are concentrated in professional and related, and health care occupations. Professional jobs include computer occupations, engineers, science, and education occupations, among others.
On the other end of the spectrum, most of the service occupations and more than half of the sales and related category are low-wage jobs. Three broad categories have very few low-wage jobs: installation, maintenance, and repair; construction and extraction; and management, business, and financial.