Rogue Valley Jobs Projected to Increase 14% by 2030

by Guy Tauer

January 6, 2022

Rogue Valley’s total employment will grow by 17,160 jobs between 2020 and 2030, according to new projections from the Oregon Employment Department. The projections point to modest job growth between 2020 and 2030 bolstered by gradual recovery from pandemic recession losses in 2020, although many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.

In 2020, there were 122,380 jobs in the Rogue Valley, down about 5,960 jobs from the year before. The 14% increase in employment we are projecting between 2020 and 2030 includes private-sector gains of 15,850 jobs, 780 jobs in government, and an additional 530 self-employed jobs added during the decade.

The Employment Department’s 2020-2030 employment projections are long-term projections intended to capture structural change in the economy, not cyclical fluctuations. These are longer-term looks at the economy, and we don’t pretend to understand the full impact of changes in our economy and job market from the COVID pandemic. New variants such as Omicron continue to muddy outlooks and projections about the future. Policy makers and central bankers around the globe are challenged by the emerging new variants and associated threats to human health and economic growth. The article “Global Central Banks Diverge as Omicron Clouds Growth, Inflation Outlook”, Wall Street Journal 12-14-21, discusses these difficulties in making predictions in this environment.

Employment projections are primarily based on historical data. Every attempt is made to incorporate current and near-future events, such as recent business closings, layoffs, openings, and expansions. However, it is not possible to predict all factors that might influence labor market conditions. Events that take place after the projections base-period ends, or late-breaking announcements concerning new business openings, expansions, closings, or layoffs, are unable to be reflected in the forecasts. A global pandemic is an example of the sort of unexpected, disruptive event that is typically not factored in when creating employment projections. As a result, the COVID-19 outbreak was not fully taken into account in the recently released industry and occupational projections for the 2020-2030 time frame. New data that would account for the COVID-19 pandemic will not be available until future revised data are published. Long-term projections are now produced every year.

Big Industries Add the Most Jobs

Private health care and social assistance is projected to add 4,020 jobs, the most of any sector in the Rogue Valley. This industry is expected to show the fourth fastest growth among published sectors, up by 17% by 2030. Among the 2,480 jobs expected to be added in trade, transportation, and utilities, 1,750 are anticipated in retail trade; 500 in transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and the remaining 230 jobs in wholesale trade. Slower than average growth is projected in manufacturing (10%); local government (7%); and information (3%).
Fast growth in health care and social assistance (17%) can be attributed to the growth and aging of the area’s population and continued in-migration of older residents. Health care will account for almost one out of every four new jobs created in the Rogue Valley by 2030.

Professional and business services growth (16%) will be driven by gains in professional and technical services such as computer systems design and management of companies and enterprises. Management of companies and enterprises includes corporate offices headquartered in Oregon.

Construction is expected to grow by 14% between 2020 and 2030, adding about 800 new jobs. Demand for construction will be driven by population and economic growth, low residential vacancy rates, and associated rising prices. The rebuilding effort from the Almeda fire will no doubt create additional demand in the construction sector, and contribute to job growth.

Peak Employment

While overall employment and jobs in many sectors are expected to grow beyond their current peak levels, some sectors will fall short of their peak employment by 2030. Construction employment is expected to grow by 14% to 6,630 jobs. That's still below its all-time high of 7,620 jobs in 2006.

Financial activities should grow by 15% to 5,440, below its height of 6,160 also in 2006. Information sector employment is projected to grow by 40 jobs to 1,340, about 870 jobs below its peak in 2001.
All Industries Need Workers

Whether growing rapidly or showing a net loss of jobs by 2030, all broad industries provide employment opportunities to Oregonians. The demand is clear in some industries. Together health care and social assistance, professional and business services, and construction will account for nearly half of all new jobs in the Rogue Valley. Slower growing sectors and declining industries still offer many job opportunities though, as they need to replace some retiring workers or others leaving the industry.

More information on 2020-2030 industry and occupational projections for Oregon and sub-state areas can be found at QualityInfo.org/projections.

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