Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oregon's New Job Holders

As Oregon's recovery continues, the number of new Oregon job holders continues to increase. New Oregon job holders are those who worked during the fourth quarter of 2013, but had not worked in Oregon since at least 1990. It's likely that individuals in this group are holding their first job in the state -- either by moving here and getting a job, or joining the ranks of the Oregon workforce for the first time.

Between the fourth quarters of 2013 and 2014, Oregon had a gain of nearly 11 percent in new job holders. That's an increase from 34,600 new job holders to 38,400. Perhaps even more interesting is that the change in the number of new Oregon job holders began to decline in the fourth quarter of 2006, about one year before the Great Recession began.

There can be many explanations for the drop in the number of new Oregon job holders that occurred late in 2006. If one reason is that Oregon employers were concerned about their future need for these workers, this measure could serve as a sign for future recessions.

You can find more information about new Oregon job holders in the quarterly Oregonians at Work summary, written by Regional Economist Erik Knoder.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oregon Coffee Fun Facts

In honor of national coffee day, here are some fun employment facts about the much-loved Monday morning pick-me-up:
  • Coffee shops -- along with ice cream parlors, smoothie shops, and other similar businesses -- are classified in the "snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars" industry. This industry had roughly 1,100 establishments in Oregon in 2013.
  • Employment statewide for the coffee shops et al. industry totaled 10,300 in 2013.
  • Baristas are classified as "counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop." Oregon had 9,400 of them in 2012.
  • Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee beans on a broad, commercial scale.

Friday, September 26, 2014

State of Jefferson: An Economic Perspective

The idea of the "State of Jefferson" goes back nearly as far as Oregon's statehood. Even as far back as the gold rush era of the 1850s, various groups proposed carving territory out of portions of Southern Oregon and Northern California and forming the 51st state, the State of Jefferson. 

While these proposals are long on ardent supporters for their cause, they are often short on analysis of what the State of Jefferson economy might look like. This analysis combines 14 Northern California counties and five Oregon counties that border California to form Jefferson State.

The State of Jefferson territory includes many rural and poorer counties of Southern Oregon and Northern California, and the state would face many economic challenges. 

Here are a few key points:
  • California's Department of Finance says the CA portion of the State of Jefferson receives about $20 million more from the state than it provides.  Proponents of secession say that secession would create new opportunities and funding.
  • The poverty rate in the State of Jefferson territory was 20.3 percent in 2012, higher than California (17.0%) and Oregon (17.0%), as well as the United States (15.9%).
  • Payroll employment in the territory declined 3.3 percent between 2003 and 2013 while payroll in the United States increased 4.8 percent in the same period.
  • Jefferson State's average wage would have been behind all 50 states in 2013.
  • The unemployment rate in the territory was 10.4 percent in 2013, down from a peak of 13.4 percent in 2011. This was higher than all 50 states in 2013.

Analyzing just a few characteristics of the State of Jefferson's economy paints a sobering picture. But there are other factors that are not as easily measured such as the cost of living, wealth of the residents of the region, and quality of life. Many are willing to trade higher salaries and incomes to live in such a beautiful place.

For much more on the history of the State of Jefferson, as well as its current economic situation, read Guy Tauer's full article here: State of Jefferson: An Economic Perspective.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Just in Time for Fall: New. new and more new articles!

Good Morning! Are you ready for fall? Are you ready for new articles on QualityInfo.org? Hope your answer is yes, because along with autumn’s arrival, we have nine great articles for your edification and enjoyment.

“54’40 Or Fight” and “Oregon, We Love Dreamers” are both public relations slogans, although one is considerably older than the other. In Advertising and Public Relations – the Mad Men of Oregon? Brian Rooney shares some history and economic trends about this interesting industry. “Try it, you’ll like it!”

How can Oregon’s unemployment rate go up while we add almost 3,000 to the employment roles in August? Good question! David Cooke has the answers to this and more in Oregon Added Jobs in August While the Unemployment Rate Edged Up.

Do you want a job that pays well and is likely in high demand? Brenda Turner has just the information you need in 10-Year Occupational Projections for STEM Jobs. Hint – you should be interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Yes, we just passed the autumnal equinox, but the holiday season is only nine weeks away. Just in time, Nick Beleiciks is Unwrapping Holiday Hiring. Consider it an early present from us to you.

Do younger workers change jobs more frequently than older workers? What is our turnover rate? Read Older Worker Turnover Remains Low During Recovery by Jessica Nelson for answers to these questions and more.

Are people moving in or out of Oregon? Where are they moving here from? Where are Oregonians moving to? What occupations account for a large percentage of in-migration? The prolific Jessica Nelson has some answers that might surprise you in Migration Patterns in the Past Five Years.

What is Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis prognosticating for our economy? Read Amy Vander Vliet’s excellent synopsis Oregon Employment Forecast: Not Only Intact, but Accelerating to find out.

One popular quote from our third President is “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” Proponents of a 51st state have named it after this President. Guy Tauer gives us the facts and figures about what the economy in this state might look like in State of Jefferson: An Economic Perspective.

Deschutes County was one of the hardest hit counties in the Great Recession. Times have changed. Long Awaited Recovery Kicking Into Overdrive in Deschutes County, by Damon Runberg tells the story.

Our goal is that the information found in these articles and elsewhere on our main page, www.QualityInfo.org, is useful in your work and business life. You might know that a redesigned QualityInfo.org is coming on November 3rd. We are excited and hope you will be as well.

Enjoy Oregon’s beautiful fall colors, especially the return of the GREEN now that the rain is back.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Employment Characteristics of the Foreign-Born Population in Oregon

Today we fielded this question: "In what industries are Oregon workers who were born outside of the U.S. working?" The U.S. Census Bureau collects information about the foreign-born population in the American Community Survey. 

The 2008-2012 Census estimates show that about 10 percent of the state's population  consists of  people born outside the U.S. (or a total of 376,000). Of that 376,000, roughly 351,000 are ages 16 and older, and about 221,000 are employed. Foreign-born workers make up 13 percent of the state's civilian employed population.

Larger shares of the employed foreign-born population in Oregon can be found working in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry (10%), as well as manufacturing (18%). By comparison, 3 percent of the native-born population works in agriculture and related industries, and 11 percent are employed in manufacturing. Those born outside the U.S. are slightly less likely to be found in educational services or health care (16%) than Oregon workers born in the States (22%).

Almost half (47%) of Oregon's foreign-born population is native to Latin America, while more than one-fourth (28%) comes from Asia, another 15 percent are native to Europe, and 9 percent were born elsewhere outside the U.S.

More information can be found through the U.S. Census Bureau's American FactFinder.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Minimum Wage Increase Affects Oregonians in All Industries

Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries announced on September 17 a minimum wage boost of $.15 per hour. This means workers earning the current minimum wage -- $9.10 per hour -- will make $9.25 per hour effective January 1, 2015. For an individual working at the current minimum wage, 30 hours per week year round, this will add an extra $234 to their annual pay.

We recently posted that roughly six percent of Oregon jobs made minimum wage in the first quarter of 2014. This amounted to about 103,400 jobs, 40 percent of which were in leisure and hospitality.

With the new 2015 minimum wage available, we made some new calculations. We found that about 141,800 jobs (or 8%) paid less than $9.25 per hour in the first quarter of 2014, meaning the $.15 increase in minimum wage would have affected them.

More than 55,000 jobs that paid less than $9.25 in the first quarter of 2014 were in leisure and hospitality. That's almost 28 percent of industry employment.
For more information about Oregon's minimum wage, check out the 2014 minimum wage summary written by Nick, our state employment economist.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Down on the Farm - 2012 Census of Agriculture for Oregon

Oregon's farm acreage totaled 16.3 million in 2012, with 35,439 farms and 59,237 farm operators. Of these, 39 percent were women farm operators. These results and more are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's report, 2012 Census of Agriculture

The purpose of the census of agriculture is to account for "any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year." Oregon agricultural product sales totaled $4.9 billion in 2012 and ranged from a high of $593 million in Marion County to $5.5 million in Lincoln County.

Crop sales in 2012 raised $3.2 billion or about 66 percent of Oregon's $4.9 billion agricultural product sales total (see graph below).

From much more on Oregon's agriculture industry, including farm production and value, livestock, and agricultural employment, read Dallas Fridley's full article: Down on the Farm - 2012 Census of Agriculture for Oregon

Monday, September 15, 2014

At Least Six Percent of Oregon Jobs Affected by Minimum Wage

This Wednesday, the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) will announce the minimum wage in Oregon for 2015. The state's minimum wage is linked to inflation, and has been set to $9.10 per hour since January 1, 2014. Oregon is one of 10 states that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation.

While we do not yet know what the new minimum wage will be, Unemployment Insurance wage records show that Oregon had roughly 103,400 jobs paying $9.10 per hour or less in the first quarter of 2014. This constitutes 6 percent of all jobs covered by Oregon's unemployment insurance, which would be affected by an increase in the minimum wage. 

Leisure and hospitality had the highest number of minimum wage jobs in the first quarter of 2014; one in five jobs in the industry (21% or 41,300) paid $9.10 or less. By numbers, retail trade followed with 20,700 minimum wage jobs, or 10 percent of all jobs in the industry. Natural resources and mining had the second-highest share of minimum wage jobs, with 15 percent at $9.10 or less (7,600 total).

Industries with the smallest shares of minimum wage jobs included: construction; manufacturing; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

For more information about Oregon's minimum wage, check out the 2014 minimum wage summary written by Nick, our state employment economist.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Biz News Around the State

Here's what's been in the headlines over the past week:

Openings and a relocation:
  • Oregon Kayak Man, a kayak rental and guide service, opened in Svenson. It offers tours throughout the north coast region. The Daily Astorian, 8/28/2014
  • Evo Clothing, a men's and women's clothing store, opened in Roseburg. The News-Review, 8/31/2014
  • Hillsboro Aviation is expanding its flight school in Prineville. It leased a larger hangar and anticipates strong growth in student enrollment. Central Oregonian, 8/29/2014
  • Wildflowers Nail Studio opened in Lakeview. Lake County Examiner, 8/27/2014
  • Uncorked Studios, a digital product agency in east Portland, plans to hire designers and Android, iOS, and web developers. Portland Business Journal, 9/8/2014
  • Myoptic Optometry Laurelhurst opened in southeast Portland. Neighborhood Notes, 9/2/2014
  • Killer Burger, a Portland-based hamburger chain, will open in Eugene later this year. The Register-Guard, 8/23/2014
  • Get Air Eugene, a trampoline park, will open in Eugene next month. It will employ 20 to 25 people. The Register-Guard, 8/22/2014
  • Alpenglow Café in Bend closed. The Bulletin, 9/5/2014
  • Sykes Enterprises Inc. will close its Milton-Freewater customer call center in December. Its 240 employees will be given the option of working from home. East Oregonian, 8/28/2014
  • Produce Row Café in southeast Portland closed. The Oregonian, 9/3/2014
For more business news, check out this week's full report or visit the Around the State page on QualityInfo.org.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oregon Size of Firm: A Snapshot

Nine out of 10 private-sector firms in Oregon had fewer than 20 employees in March 2014. Six out of 10 employed fewer than five workers.

Despite their quantity, smaller firms collectively account for a much smaller share of overall employment than their larger counterparts. For example, the 59 percent of firms with one to four employees represented nearly 8 percent of covered employment and 6 percent of wages in March 2014. On the other hand, the 0.3 percent of firms with at least 500 employees accounted for nearly 27 percent of private-sector jobs and 36 percent of wages.

These distributions tend to remain stable from one year to the next, even as the overall number of firms, employees, and wages expands or contracts. This doesn’t mean that smaller firms are underperforming when it comes to job creation, or that larger firms are experiencing a bonanza. Size of firm data does not provide us with information about the dynamics underlying employment changes. Instead, it offers a snapshot that can help us understand the roles of small and large firms in Oregon’s economy at a specific point in time.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oregon's Help Wanted Online Ads Rose by 4,800 in August

Hiring demand has shown renewed growth in Oregon and the U.S., as measured by the number of help wanted ads posted online. The increase of 4,800 ads in Oregon and 164,600 ads nationally in August followed a small dip in the number of ads in July. There are now more ads than at any other point during the past seven years. The high level of advertising by employers suggests continued job growth. 
Around Oregon, the number of ads is rising fast in Bend, Corvallis, and Eugene. Salem and Portland are still showing strong trends, and demand seems to be picking up in Medford.

This -- and more! -- information comes from our state employment economist, Nick Beleiciks. The full monthly Help Wanted Online (HWOL) summary can be found at QualityInfo.org.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Earnings by Education

Education pays. 

This phrase is used time and again among Oregon's workforce professionals. It's such a strong message that it has been the highlight of posters plastered on classroom walls, counselor's doors, and WorkSource Oregon offices all around the state. You can even order one of the Oregon Employment Department's Education Pays posters by going to our publication order form

While education is generally thought of as a means of finding a higher-paying job, it is striking to see just how correlated more education is with an increase in pay. The chart below is from national data on weekly earnings and education. A worker with a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $651 in 2013, while workers with a bachelor's degree had weekly median earnings of $1,108.

Notice also that those with less education are much more likely to be unemployed.