Oregon’s total employment is projected to grow by 265,000 jobs between 2021 and 2031, according to new projections from the Oregon Employment Department. Employment growth reflects recovery from low employment levels in 2021 due to the pandemic recession alongside structural growth. Many additional job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.
In 2021, there were 2,061,200 jobs in Oregon. The projected 13% increase in employment between 2021 and 2031 includes private-sector gains of 240,200 jobs, growth of 20,300 jobs in government, and an additional 4,400 self-employed Oregonians.
Beyond gains associated with the economic recovery from the pandemic recession and anticipated economic growth, another 2,234,900 job openings will be created by 2031 to replace workers who retire, leave the labor force for other reasons, or make a major occupational change. Together, the number of job openings due to economic recovery, job growth, and replacements will total nearly 2.5 million.
All sectors in Oregon are expected to add jobs by 2031. The leisure and hospitality sector is projected to increase the fastest and add the largest number of jobs. The projected gain of 60,100 jobs (34% growth) in leisure and hospitality is mainly driven by the recovery from the pandemic, as restaurants, hotels, and arts, cultural, and recreational establishments have seen increased demand as in-person and recreational activities resume.
Because of the loss of jobs in leisure and hospitality in 2020, many of the fastest-growing occupations are associated with jobs in this industry. In fact, 10 of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations are in leisure and hospitality. They include cooks, bartenders, hotel desk clerks, exercise trainers and group fitness instructors, and amusement and recreation attendants.
The private health care and social assistance sector is projected to add the second-largest number of jobs over the next 10 years at 45,900 and grow at the second-fastest rate (17%). Growth in private health care and social assistance is attributed to the aging of the state’s population, longer life expectancies, and long-term population growth. The fastest-growing occupations associated with health care include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical and health services managers, and massage therapists.
A broad variety of career opportunities will be available across all sectors, as well as all job types. Three out of 10 job openings will require education or training beyond high school. In order to be more competitive, more than half of job openings will require education beyond high school.
Occupations with the most job openings typically requiring a high school diploma or less include fast food workers, retail salespersons, cashiers, stockers, and order fillers. Those requiring a postsecondary certification or associate’s degree include truck drivers, bookkeepers, and medical and nursing assistants. Occupations with the most job openings requiring at least a bachelor’s degree vary from general and operations managers to registered nurses, software developers, and accountants.
All areas of Oregon expect to see job opportunities due to both economic recovery and growth, and to replace workers leaving the labor force in the coming years. The two areas projected to grow faster than Oregon’s rate of 13% are Central Oregon (15%) and the Portland tri-county area (15%). The Eastern Six counties (5%) and Southwestern Oregon (9%) will grow the slowest.
Additional Information More information on 2021-2031 industry and occupational projections for Oregon and sub-state areas can be found at www.qualityinfo.org/projections.