Clackamas County Job Vacancies Reach Record High in 2022April 4, 2023
Private firms in Clackamas County were looking to fill a record 11,900 job vacancies at any given time in 2022; about twice the average in the five years leading up to the pandemic.
Throughout the year, the Oregon Employment Department surveys private businesses across the state. If hiring, the employer provides a variety of information about each vacancy including job title, starting wage, and education and experience requirements for the job.
The county’s record level of vacancies came amid rapid recovery and growth in 2022 combined with a tight labor market. The survey’s results reflect the extent of employers’ struggles to find workers: the share of vacancies reported as difficult to fill shot up from about half of all openings in the years prior to the pandemic to 75% in 2022, and the share of vacancies open for longer than 60 days also increased significantly, from 18% to 36%.
Employers across most broad industries reported vacancies in 2022. Leisure and hospitality accounted for the largest number with 2,460 openings at any given time; an all-time high for a sector that was struggling to fill openings even before the pandemic. Health care and social assistance, perennially in the top three, was a close second (2,280) after holding the top spot during the first two years of the pandemic. To those of us who have tried in vain to find a plumber or electrician, it won’t come as a surprise to see construction with the third highest number of unfilled jobs (1,460). Together these three sectors accounted for over half of all job openings in the county.
Clackamas County employers were looking to fill a wide variety of jobs in 2022. They reported vacancies across 171 different occupations, 34 of which had at least 100 openings at any given time.
Personal care aides had the largest number of vacancies (510) and nursing assistants came in third (460) as health care providers grappled with surging demand, staff burnout, and labor shortages. Cooks (800), customer service representatives (800), and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (700) rounded out the top five.
By Education and Wages
Two-thirds of all job vacancies either had no educational requirement at all or required only a high school diploma; similar to the statewide share (65%). On the other end of the spectrum, just 3% required a bachelor’s or advanced degree. One-fifth required a postsecondary degree or other certification.
The average hourly wage for vacancies in Clackamas County was $21.62; higher than any other region in Oregon except Portland Metro (Multnomah and Washington counties). Wages were tightly correlated with education requirements. The average wage for job openings with no required education was $18.04 and increased to $33.57 for those requiring a bachelor’s or advanced degree.
More information about regional and statewide job vacancies can be found on the publications page of QualityInfo.org.