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Jun-18-2014 13:10printcomments

Report: Half of Jobs in Oregon Difficult to Fill

Some of the hardest occupations to fill were: personal care aides, meat, poultry, and fish cutters, and Registered Nurses.

Oregon Workers
Businesses reported that almost half of Oregon's job vacancies in 2013 were "difficult to fill," according to a new report from the Oregon Employment Department. Photo Courtesy: State of Oregon

(SALEM, Ore. ) - Businesses reported that almost half of Oregon's job vacancies in 2013 were "difficult to fill," according to a new report from the Oregon Employment Department.

Jessica Nelson, economist with the Oregon Employment Department says that employers in the state are looking for the right combination of education and experience for unique roles within their companies. This may mean a tougher training challenge than if companies were looking for a large number of employees with essentially identical skills.

The most common reasons employers cited for difficulty filling positions were:

Lack of qualified candidates (24%)

Lack of applicants (23%)

Unfavorable working conditions (17%)

Low wages (11%)

Lack of work experience (9%)

Major findings about Oregon's difficult-to fill job vacancies include:

Employers had a harder time filling positions requiring postsecondary training, but not a college degree.

Mid and high wage jobs are more challenging to fill than low-wage ones. As wages rise, responses citing a lack of qualified candidates account for a greater share, topping out at more than half of the responses for jobs paying more than $25 per hour.

Small employers - those with 2 to 19 employees - had the most difficulty filling positions.

Employers in Northwest Oregon and the Willamette Valley, and in Eastern Oregon, had the most difficulty filling jobs. Portland area employers had the least difficulty.

Employers had a harder time filling positions requiring postsecondary training, but not a college degree.

Mid and high wage jobs are more challenging to fill than low-wage ones. As wages rise, responses citing a lack of qualified candidates account for a greater share, topping out at more than half of the responses for jobs paying more than $25 per hour.

Small employers – those with 2 to 19 employees – had the most difficulty filling positions.

2013 Oregon Top Occupations to Fill:

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse

Personal Care Aides

Home Health Aides

Customer Service Representatives

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

Registered Nurses

Massage Therapists

Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers

Cooks, Restaurant

Source: Oregon Employment Department




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