2020-2030 Projections Show Broad-based Employment Growth in the Mid-Valley

by Pat O'Connor

February 2, 2022

The Mid-Valley Workforce Area (Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties) will add 43,700 jobs between 2020 and 2030. This represents a 16% increase in employment over 10 years. The growth stems from anticipated private-sector gains of 38,900 jobs (17%) and the addition of 3,800 jobs (8%) in government. This projected 16% growth rate is faster than the 9% growth seen over the past decade in the Mid-Valley. One reason for the strong 16% growth is that 2020 was early in the COVID pandemic when large job losses occurred in a number of industries. Strong job gains are projected as a result of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession and other anticipated economic growth in the Mid-Valley.

Beyond gains from economic growth, an additional 309,000 job openings will be created by 2030 as workers change occupations or leave for other reasons, such as retirement.

The 2020 to 2030 employment projections bring together several ongoing trends over the past few years as well as new ones resulting from the COVID-19 recession.  The health care sector has been growing for a number of years, due in part to an aging population. Another long-term trend is public-sector employment growing more slowly than private-sector employment. A new trend is very fast job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector as it recovers from the COVID-19 recession.

Industry Projections

There will be job growth in all of the broad private-sector industries by 2030.

The region’s health services sector and also the leisure and hospitality sector are both projected to add the most jobs (+8,300 jobs). In addition to adding the most jobs, leisure and hospitality will also be the fastest growing sector, growing 43% over the decade as the sector bounces back from the COVID-19 recession.

Another fast growing sector is professional and business services, which is projected to add 4,600 jobs, 24% growth, from 2020 to 2030.

The region’s construction sector and the manufacturing sector are both projected to grow 16% over the decade, matching the Mid-Valley’s total employment growth rate. Manufacturing employment is projected to add 4,100 while construction will add 2,700 jobs.  
Transportation, warehousing, and utilities is another fast growing sector in the Mid-Valley. The sector’s employment is projected to grow 2,600 or 25% from 2020 to 2030.

Occupational Projections

Between 2020 and 2030, there will be job openings in all occupations in the Mid-Valley.

Economic diversity in the Mid-Valley Workforce Area is demonstrated by the two different broad occupational categories projected to have the most job openings in the region: service occupations (82,300 openings), and administrative and support occupations (36,000 openings). Service occupations include jobs as varied as emergency services, pest control workers, and fast food cooks. It includes many occupations that were most impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrative and support occupations include bookkeepers, customer service representatives, and receptionists.

Health care occupations tend to be the ones growing fastest, driven in large part by the aging population. Physical therapist assistants, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners are among the fastest-growing occupations in the region. In addition we see a number of service occupations that experienced large job losses during the pandemic in 2020. Those occupations are expected to bounce back with rapid job growth.

In terms of actual job counts, farmworkers, retail salespersons, fast food and counter workers, cashiers, and home health and personal aides are the five occupations with the most job openings anticipated by 2030. These are all large occupations, and they will all experience some openings due to economic growth, but also due to the retirement or other departures of existing workers.

In addition to the nearly 44,000 new jobs from businesses opening or expanding, the region’s employers will also need sufficiently trained workers for the more than 309,000 openings due to the need to replace those leaving occupations. Replacement openings will make up a majority of total job openings in all major occupational groups.

Half (50%) of the projected job openings in the Mid-Valley will require some sort of education beyond high school in order for candidates to be competitive in the hiring process. A bachelor's degree or higher will be needed for 21% of the openings at the competitive level.

Other Regional Projections

All areas of Oregon expect to see job opportunities due to both economic recovery and growth, and to replace workers leaving the labor force in the coming years. The two regions projected to grow at the fastest rates are Central Oregon (18%) and the Portland area (17%). The Mid-Valley and Northwest Oregon are both projected to grow at the same rate as Oregon statewide – 16%. All other areas are projected to have slower growth.


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