The information published in Oregon Covered Employment and Wages is based on
unemployment insurance tax reports submitted quarterly by employers subject to
Employment Department law. Employment is reported by each firm for each month
using the payroll period that includes the 12th of each month. Wages are reported for the
entire quarter. For example, if a company pays its employees twice a month--on the 15th
and the 30th--the employment reported would be the number of employees who worked
during the first payroll period of each month. The total wages reported would be the sum
of both pay periods for each of the three months in the quarter. Employment and payroll
data are ordinarily classified on the basis of the primary business activity and physical
location of the employer in Oregon.
Employers operating at more than one location in Oregon must report employment and
payroll by each location, and each location is classified according to its primary activity
and physical location. This detailed level of reporting makes it possible to identify and
publish employment and wages in the area in which the work takes place and where
economic impact of the jobs is the greatest.
Summary level employment and payroll data in this publication are based on county and
NAICS codes (North American Industry Classification System, 2002 edition) as assigned
by the Oregon Employment Department. Employment Department law regarding
confidentiality of information collected through unemployment insurance tax reports does
not allow us to publish employment, wage or other data that may be identified with an
individual employer or employee.
Two changes that impact how we can publish data or data available to be published
took effect in 2005. The law governing what we can publish was changed to allow
us to publish the number of establishments in an industry regardless of how many
establishments there are in that industry. Previously, if there were fewer than three
establishments, we could not publish any information. Employment and wage data for
those industries where there are fewer than three establishments is still classified as
The second change has to do with state employment data and home care workers
(see section on changes in unemployment insurance coverage). Adding home care
workers into the state worker totals has a significant impact on the count of state workers
and their wages. (Most home care workers are part-time positions.) A more accurate
calculation of the number of state workers and their wages can be made by subtracting
out the employment and wages reported under NAICS industry 624120 from statewide
Data presented in this report include employment and wages covered by Oregon
Employment Department law and by the program of Unemployment Compensation for
Federal Employees (UCFE). Employment and wage data on interstate railroad workers,
who are covered under a separate unemployment insurance law administered by the
Railroad Retirement Board, are not included in this report. Also excluded from the report
Agricultural labor performed for a farm with a quarterly payroll of less than
$20,000 or not employing at least 10 persons in each of 20 separate weeks
during any calendar year.
Domestic service in a home, sorority or fraternity, providing the quarterly payroll
at no time exceeds $1,000.
Casual labor not in the course of an employer¿s trade or business.
Service performed as an officer or member of the crew of any American vessel
primarily engaged in interstate, foreign, or high seas navigation, which does
not maintain an office within Oregon from which the operations of the vessel
are regularly managed and controlled, and service performed on any vessel of
foreign registry. Officers and crews of vessels engaged in inland navigation on
the Willamette and Columbia Rivers are covered.
Service performed by a person in the employ of a son, daughter, or spouse, and
service performed by a child under the age of 18 in the employ of his father or
Service performed by certain part-time, irregular and emergency employees of
state or local government.
Service performed by elected officials.
Service by an appointed policymaking official of state or local government
provided he or she works less than eight hours a week.
Service performed by an individual in the delivery of newspapers or shopping
Service performed by a real estate broker, real estate salesman, real estate
agent, insurance agent, insurance solicitor or securities salesperson to the extent
that compensation is solely by commission.
Service performed by an individual or partnership in the distribution of petroleum
products with remuneration for service primarily consisting of the difference
between the amount the individual pays or is obligated to pay for the petroleum
products and the amount the individual receives.
Commission sales of home improvements and in-home sales of consumer
The 1999 Legislature passed legislation that impacted a certain segment of the
fishing industry. Effective October 23, 1999, House Bill 3308 excluded from
unemployment insurance fishing services performed by workers on boats with
crews of less than 10 individuals where the payment is based on the share of the
Wages paid to corporate officers of closely held family corporations may elect
to exclude from UI coverage those corporate officers who are directors of the
corporation, have a substantial ownership interest in the corporation and are
members of the same family.
Time Series Analysis
Limiting Factors in Year-To-Year Comparisons
Probably the most valuable use of the data printed in this publication is the ability they
give the user to observe year-to-year trends of Oregon employment. However, there are
certain restrictions that make strict year-to-year comparisons misleading or impossible.
Technical changes in the unemployment insurance program, changes in the industrial
classification system, or OED¿s ongoing review of assigned industry and location codes
can sometimes cause the appearance of gains and losses in employment and wage
tables. Such changes do not accurately reflect changes in the structure of Oregon¿s
economy and as such may limit the legitimacy of year-to-year comparisons of data. This
should be kept in mind when analyzing employment and payroll trends over many years.
Noneconomic Code Changes
The primary causes of noneconomic changes in employment and wages are industry or
county reclassifications and/or changes in the level of employer reporting. Since these
changes are not directly attributable to economic activities, they are referred to as non
economic changes. Summary tables of noneconomic code changes are made available
at the back of this publication.
An annual refiling survey that reviews industry, location and other demographic identifiers
is the major source of noneconomic code changes. One-third of all Oregon employers are
surveyed each year with the changes incorporated in the publication the following year.
Beginning with the 1998 survey cycle, the selection criteria for the tri-annual survey of
employers was changed. The criteria for selection is now based on the sixth and seventh
digits of the Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned to each employer.
Studies done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in conjunction with the states
determined that using these two digits of the EIN resulted in a statistically valid random
sample of employers¿ current industry classification. An added benefit to those employers
doing business in multiple states is that they receive survey forms only once every three
years rather than some survey forms from different states each year (if the industrial
activity for the company differed from one state to another).
Changes in the level of detail reported by some employers is the other primary cause of
noneconomic employment and/or wage variations. Beginning in 1989, BLS, in conjunction
with the states, initiated the Business Establishment List (BEL) project to obtain a more
accurate representation of employment at the local level. As a result, employers that
operate in more than one location and have at least 10 employees outside their primary
location are required to report employment and payroll by separate location. When the
county or industry code of the individual location is different than the master account, the
effect on the data is the same as the industry reclassifications described above.
The incorporation of establishment based reporting was, for the most part, a one-time,
two-year process. Thus, 1989 and 1990 had a greater than usual number of employment
and payroll shifts that were due to reclassifications.
NAICS manual revisions, which occur every five years, are a third source of noneconomic code changes. Industry code changes resulting from the most recent (NAICS 2012) manual revision are introduced beginning with the first quarter of 2011.
Changes in Unemployment Insurance Coverage
The following is a list of coverage changes with the year such changes were made
effective. Unless noted, changes became effective January 1.
1936 Oregon covered employment data included only employment and payrolls of
private industry employers hiring four or more persons.
1956 Coverage was extended to private firms hiring two or more employees and to
employees of federal government installations.
1958 State government workers were added to covered employment totals.
1960 Coverage was extended to all private industry employers with one or more
1972 Employees of nonprofit institutions other than religious and primary and
secondary schools, share-of-the-catch fishermen, employees of commercial
plants engaged in handling, grading, shipping, etc., of farm commodities, and
faculty members of Oregon higher education were covered.
1974 Coverage was extended to include local government.
1978 Some farm workers and domestic employees were added as well as coverage
of primary and secondary private schools. The coverage of agricultural and
domestic employment was limited by size of payroll and/or number of employees.
At the same time, the exemption of commission sales was expanded to exclude
all in-home sales.
1987 The Oregon Legislature introduced two minor changes. Food product
demonstrators not employed by the product manufacturer, distributor or retailer
were excluded. Also excluded was transportation performed by motor vehicle
for a certified common carrier by any person who leases their equipment to a
certified common carrier and who personally operates, furnishes and maintains
1989 All churches and religious organizations must provide unemployment insurance
for all lay employees. Members of the clergy remain exempt.
1995 Closely held family corporations are granted the option to exclude from UI
coverage payments for services to corporate officers who are directors of
the corporation, have a substantial ownership interest in the corporation and
are members of the same family. Effective with the first quarter of 2004, the
legislature expanded the definition of members of the same family.
1996 Members of the clergy and religious organizations, formerly exempt, are now
covered beginning with fourth quarter, 1996, quarterly tax reports.
1999 Fishing services performed by workers on boats with crews of less than 10
individuals where the payment is based on the share of the catch are no longer
covered beginning with fourth quarter, 1999 tax reports.
2005 Changes made by the Oregon Legislature resulted in the reporting of Home
Care Workers as state employees for Unemployment Insurance reporting
purposes only. Inclusion of these workers has a significant impact on state
These changes present difficulties in the analysis of time series data. If, in your analysis,
something appears unusual, or you simply wish to confirm your conclusions, please
feel free to contact the Workforce and Economic Research Division of the Oregon
Employment Department. We will be glad to assist where we can.