Rogue Valley Job Vacancies Reach Record in 2021

by Guy Tauer

March 3, 2022

Private employers in Rogue Valley were looking to fill about 8,800 job vacancies in 2021 according to estimates from the Oregon Employment Department’s annual Job Vacancy Survey. We surveyed 1,400 private employers with two or more employees. If they were hiring, employers gave details about each vacancy, including: job title, full- or part-time status permanent or temporary status, starting wage or salary, and education and experience requirements. The record level of vacancies came as employers tried to replace jobs lost during the pandemic recession in 2020. Employers reported 81% of vacancies were difficult to fill, tied with the East Cascades region with the highest percent of difficult to fill vacancies and exceeding the statewide average of 72%.  
Statewide, the Portland Metro area (Multnomah and Washington counties) led the way with 28,000 vacancies or about 29% of the Oregon total. Rogue Valley accounted for about 9% of total statewide vacancies.

The average starting wage offered by employers in Rogue Valley was $17.54 compared with $19.69 statewide.

Rogue Valley had generally lower education requirements for vacancies than the Oregon average. Of the vacancies where an education requirement is known, about 21% in Rogue Valley required more than a high school education, compared with about 30% of Oregon vacancies requiring an education beyond high school. About 46% of Rogue Valley vacancies had no education requirement compared with about 34% of Oregon vacancies that lacked any education requirements.
Although the majority of vacancies have no education requirement, the old adage that “education pays,” holds true in this data. The average hourly wage for vacancies that require post-secondary education, such as an associate’s degree or some other certification was $25.14, and vacancies that required a bachelor’s degree or higher averaged $23.25. Comparatively, openings that require a high school diploma averaged $16.64 and starting wages averaged $14.82 for openings with no requirement.
The leisure and hospitality industry accounted for 24% of vacancies in the Rogue Valley, more than any other industry. Health care and social assistance was next with 17% of total vacancies. Retail trade comprised about 15% of vacancies, while manufacturing and construction accounted for 9% and 8% of total vacancies, respectively, in 2021.

Even with demand concentrated in the leisure and hospitality, and health care and social services industries, businesses were hiring for a wide variety of occupations in 2021, reporting vacancies in 166 different occupations. Retail salesperson had the most vacancies with nearly 600. Always in-demand it seems are personal care aides, and they had nearly 500 vacancies in the Rogue Valley last year. Restaurant cooks, and fast food and counter workers combined for over 600 vacancies.

Other health care-related fields with vacancies included nursing assistants (249), medical assistants (84), and registered nurses (62).

Other occupations with a high number of vacancies include heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (269), automotive service technicians and mechanics (267), maids and housekeeping cleaners (201), and childcare workers (172).
As mentioned earlier, Rogue Valley had both a record number of total vacancies and difficult-to-fill vacancies in 2021. The top difficult-to-fill positions were retail salespersons, personal care aides, and heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers. Cook, restaurant workers, nursing assistants, and child care workers had many difficult-to fill-openings in the Rogue Valley last year.

The 2021 Rogue Valley estimates are based on responses from 1,400 private employers with two or more employees who were surveyed throughout the year.

For more details on statewide and regional vacancies, visit  and scroll down to the section titled “Job Vacancy Survey.”


Latest Items

Subscription Service

You can sign up to receive email notifications when publications have been updated or new articles are added for any geographic area you are interested in. You can receive new articles on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule – whichever is most convenient for you.

Visit the subscription order form to sign up. It allows you to choose your preferences, and you can change those preferences – or unsubscribe – at any time.