Job Vacancies in Northwest Oregon in 2022April 13, 2023
Northwest Oregon had about 6,600 job vacancies in the private sector on an average day in 2022. This was a decrease from an average of 7,300 vacancies in 2021. The occupations with the most vacancies were retail salespersons, personal care aides, fast food and counter workers, and maids and housekeepers (mostly in the lodging industry). The industry with the most vacancies was leisure and hospitality; it had an average of 1,684 job vacancies on any given day. These estimates for job vacancies came from a survey of 1,600 private-sector employers with two or more employees in Northwest Oregon during the year.
Employers reported most of their openings as difficult to fill. The table shows how many vacancies were considered difficult to fill for each type of occupation. Note that the order may change somewhat when considering only difficult to fill occupations. Personal care aides were the second most common vacancy but ranked number one for vacancies that were difficult to fill. In total, 5,253 vacancies (79%) were considered as difficult to fill by employers.
To put the vacancies in more context, there were an estimated 3,399 retail sales clerks in Northwest Oregon in 2021 (the most recent year for data). There were an average of 419 vacancies in the occupation in 2022, and 268 of these vacancies were considered difficult to fill. This suggests that employment in the occupation had the potential to have been roughly 3,800 but was limited by unfilled vacancies. Similarly, the leisure and hospitality industry in Northwest Oregon had an estimated average annual employment of 14,890 in 2021. So the industry was employing roughly a little less than 90% of the number of people that it would have preferred in 2022.
Two other large industries in Northwest Oregon were also near the top of the list for having the most job vacancies. The health care and social assistance industry and retail trade took the number two and number three positions. Health care and social assistance averaged 1,517 openings throughout 2022. Retail trade averaged 789 openings. These industries are among the largest in Northwest Oregon, so it’s no surprise that that had the most job vacancies in 2022.
Most job vacancies were for relatively low-paying positions. Despite the tight labor market employers offered less than $15 per hour for 18% of all vacancies and 48% of vacancies offered between $15 per hour and $20 per hour. Only 14% of vacancies offered $25 per hour or more.
About 72% of job vacancies had either no educational requirement at all or required only a high school diploma. These vacancies also tended to offer lower pay.
Vacancies that required postsecondary training showed the importance of getting some education or training beyond high school. The average wage for vacancies requiring postsecondary training was $35.16 per hour, nearly all were permanent positions, and 88% were for full-time jobs. It’s slightly unusual that the average wage for vacancies that required postsecondary training was higher than the average wage for vacancies requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, but it simply reflects the mix of occupational vacancies for 2022. It has happened before, but in most years the average wage is higher for vacancies requiring more education. The 2022 vacancy survey reinforces other research that shows that Northwest Oregon job seekers can benefit by getting additional education and training at local community colleges, Jobs Corps Centers, and apprenticeships.