Oregon’s Job Growth Fastest in Private Education and Health Services and Government

by Molly Hendrickson

April 12, 2024

Oregon lost 4,900 nonfarm payroll jobs from January 2023 to January 2024, which was a growth rate of -0.2%. Among all states and the District of Columbia, Oregon grew at the slowest rate. Washington and California were near the middle of the rankings, with growth rates of 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively. Idaho grew 2.0% over the year, ranking 12th. Nevada grew the fastest of all states at 3.8%.

Oregon Industry Rankings

Job growth rankings by industry sector show that two sectors of Oregon’s economy added jobs fast enough to rank in the top 10 of all states: the private education and health services industry and government. In education and health services, Oregon grew at 4.9% over the year, ranking 10th. Arizona grew the fastest (7.3%) while Wyoming grew the slowest (1.0%). Private educational services (5.2%) and health care and social assistance (4.8%) both drove growth in this industry.

In government, Oregon grew at 3.4%, which ranked sixth. Nevada grew at the fastest rate (5.7%), and Tennessee was the slowest (0.5%). Federal, state, and local government all contributed to growth. Federal government grew at the fastest rate of 5.4%.

Oregon’s job growth in many other sectors ranked at or near the bottom of the list. In the trade, transportation, and utilities industry, Oregon ranked last among states, with a growth rate of -1.9%. In the manufacturing industry, Oregon grew at -3.3% over the year, which ranked 50th. When it comes to the professional and business services industry, Oregon grew the 48th fastest, at -3.6%. In the leisure and hospitality industry, Oregon ranked 48th, growing at -0.1% annually. In financial activities, Oregon grew at -2.1% which was 48th fastest. Near the middle of the list in the construction industry, Oregon grew at -0.6%, ranking 39th.
Graph showing Growth Rates for All States by Sector, January 2023 to January 2024, Seasonally Adjusted

Oregon’s Historical Job Growth Compared to the U.S.

Historically, Oregon has a track record of greater job growth than the United States. Oregon has tended to grow faster than the U.S. during good economic times, but lose more jobs, relatively, in the tough times. However, something different seems to be happening in Oregon in the recovery from the pandemic recession.

Oregon’s employment growth seems to be diverging from the U.S. trend in recent months. Oregon does in fact have a higher level of seasonally adjusted employment in January 2024 (1,970,700) than in January 2020 (1,969,800). However, while the U.S. seems to be consistently growing, Oregon is growing slower, if not slightly declining. Regardless, Oregon appears, at this point, to be on a somewhat diverging path from the nation as a whole.
Graph showing Oregon and U.S. Employment Trends* January 2020 to Current
Where to Get Oregon’s Latest Job Growth Rates

The most recent job growth rates by industry for Oregon are available on QualityInfo.org using the Current Employment Estimates (CES) tool.

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