Oregon is on track for 16% job growth over the next nine years, according to economists with the state’s Employment Department.

The sharp drop in employment at the start of the pandemic last year means Oregon is now poised for record-setting job growth between now and the end of the decade. The Employment Department is expecting more than 317,000 new jobs in the state by 2030, with gains across all sectors.

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The exterior of an employment building.

Undated photo of an employment building.

Chris M Lehman / KLCC

The agency said the leisure and hospitality industry is projected to lead the growth in new jobs, with some 73,000 new jobs over the period. This growth “is mainly driven by the recovery from the pandemic, as restaurants, hotels, and arts, cultural, and recreational establishments are expected to see increased demand as in-person and recreational activities resume,” the agency said in a press release.

Projections economist Felicia Bechtold says the growth won’t be spread evenly around the state, however.

“The two regions projected to grow the fastest rates are central Oregon with 18%, and the Portland area with 17%,” she said.

The parts of the state expected to see the slowest job growth are southwestern Oregon and six rural eastern Oregon counties. Still, growth in those areas is expected to be around 10%.

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