Winter 2024 Hiring Among Oregon’s Private Employers

by Anna Johnson

April 25, 2024

Each quarter, the Oregon Employment Department surveys private employers from all industries and areas of the state to ask about the job vacancies they are actively trying to fill. Oregon businesses reported 60,300 job vacancies in winter 2024. Vacancies decreased 4% from the fall and decreased 20% from winter 2023. The number of vacancies is close to levels seen prior to the pandemic. The pre-pandemic high was 66,600 vacancies in summer 2017.

The number of private-sector job openings in the U.S. peaked at 11.4 million in April 2022. Openings over the last two years have significantly exceeded the previous high of 7.0 million seen in April 2019. In January 2024, there were 8.0 million private-sector job openings in the United States, as measured by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, and 6.7 million people were unemployed, resulting in a U.S. ratio of 0.8 unemployed people per job opening (or eight unemployed persons per 10 job openings). This is the eleventh straight quarter at or below a ratio of 1.0.

In January 2024, there were 106,000 unemployed Oregonians and the number of job vacancies was 60,300, leaving almost two unemployed persons for every job opening. As job vacancies in Oregon have fallen since the record high peaks and unemployment has risen from the near-record lows seen in 2021 and 2022, Oregon’s unemployed-to-job vacancy ratio has been slowly increasing.
Graph showing U.S. and Oregon Unemployed to Job Vacancy Ratios Still Low After Spring 2020 Peak

Most openings in the winter were for full-time, permanent positions. Education beyond high school was required for 38% of winter vacancies. A majority of employers reported their vacancies as difficult to fill, accounting for 58% of vacancies in winter 2024, down from 63% in winter 2023.

The average starting wage among this group of vacancies was around $23.32 per hour, an inflation-adjusted decrease of 7% from winter 2023 and a 9% decrease from fall 2023. Overall, vacancies decreased 20% from winter 2023. The number of vacancies offering a starting wage below $20 per hour decreased 21% over the year. The number of vacancies offering between $20 and $30 per hour increased 2%, and vacancies paying above $30 per hour decreased 33%.
Table showing Oregon Job Vacancies, Winter 2024

Hiring demand was widespread throughout industries and occupations. Eleven out of 14 major sectors were hiring for more than 1,000 positions at any given time in winter 2024. Health care and social assistance had the most vacancies of any industry by far, with 18,800 vacancies. Leisure and hospitality followed with 8,500 vacancies. Management, administrative, and waste services and manufacturing industries both had about 5,000 job vacancies.
Table showing Oregon Job Vacancies by Industry, Winter 2024

Employers reported vacancies in about 200 different occupations. The occupation groups with the most vacancies in winter 2024 were food preparation and serving related (8,200), health care support (7,200), and transportation and material moving (5,500). Detailed occupations reported most frequently included fast food and counter workers, personal care aides, and retail salespersons.

Winter vacancies were distributed across the state, with the Portland tri-county area accounting for about 41%. Vacancies decreased over the year in every region of the state, except in the Portland Metro and Northwest areas of Oregon, which both increased 3%.
Table showing Oregon Job Vacancies by Geography, Winter 2024

More details about Oregon Job Vacancies are available on, on the publications page under Job Vacancy Survey.

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