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Oregon workforce expected to grow by 9% by 2029; Central Oregon to set pace

Jobs report generic MGN

Long-term projections don't reflect full impact of COVID-19 recession

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon’s total employment will grow by 181,800 jobs between 2019 and 2029, with Central Oregon the fastest-growing region, according to new projections released Thursday by the Oregon Employment Department.

The projections point to modest job growth between 2019 and 2029, the agency said, although many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.

In 2019, there were 2,120,000 jobs in Oregon. The 9 percent increase in employment between 2019 and 2029 includes private-sector gains of 156,400 jobs, growth of 16,500 jobs in government, and an additional 8,900 self-employed Oregonians.

Beyond gains from economic growth, another 255,300 job openings will be created on average each year through 2029 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 growth and replacements will total an annual average of 273,500.

All private sectors in Oregon are expected to add jobs by 2029. Private health care and social assistance will lead all industries in new job growth. The gain of 46,300 new jobs (15% growth) in health care can be attributed to continued growth and aging of the state’s population. Health care will account for one out of every five new jobs created in Oregon by 2029.

Health care also tops the list of Oregon’s fastest-growing occupations over the 10-year period. Health care occupations and those associated with health care, including mental health, account for 13 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations from 2019 to 2029 among occupations with at least 1,000 jobs in Oregon.

They include physician and medical assistants, nurse practitioners, substance abuse and mental health counselors, massage and respiratory therapists, and home health aides.

Oregon’s second fastest-growing industry will be professional and business services. Professional and business services is expected to add 33,000 new jobs (13% growth). Professional and business services includes legal and architectural services, computer systems design, temporary employment agencies, corporate offices, and a variety of other businesses.

Software developers, operations research analysts, market research analysts and marketing specialists, and financial managers are also among the fastest-growing occupations statewide.

A broad variety of career opportunities will be available across all sectors, as well as all job types. One-third of all job openings will require education or training beyond high school at the typical entry-level education. To meet more competitive education requirements, nearly half of all job openings require at least some training beyond high school.

Occupations with the most job openings, typically requiring a high school diploma or less, include retail salespersons, food preparation and serving workers, and cashiers.

Those requiring a postsecondary certification or associate’s degree include truck drivers, bookkeepers, and nursing and medical assistants.

Occupations with the most total 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 growth and to replace workers leaving the labor force in the coming years. The two regions projected to grow at the fastest rates are Central Oregon (12%) and the Portland area (11%).

The Oregon Employment Department’s 2019-2029 employment projections are long-term projections intended to capture structural change in the economy, not cyclical fluctuations. As such, they are not intended to project the full impacts of the COVID-19 recession and its recovery, the department said.

More information on 2019-2029 industry and occupational projections for Oregon and sub-state areas can be found at

Article Topic Follows: Business

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