Leisure and hospitality jobs in Clatskanie, Rainier, Columbia County and across the state are leading a surge in job growth.

Oregon’s total employment is projected to grow by 317,600 jobs between 2020 and 2030, according to new projections from the Oregon Employment Department.

Fastest and Largest Increase

Oregon's leisure and hospitality industry is projected to see the fastest and largest number of jobs.

The projections point to historically high job growth between 2020 and 2030 and accounts for recovery from low employment levels in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated recession. In addition, many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.

In 2020, there were 1,998,400 jobs in Oregon. The projected 16% increase in employment between 2020 and 2030 includes private-sector gains of 283,500 jobs, growth of 25,700 jobs in government, and an additional 8,300 self-employed Oregonians.

Beyond gains associated with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession and anticipated economic growth, another 2,197,200 job openings will be created by 2030 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 2,514,800.

All sectors in Oregon are expected to add jobs by 2030. Leisure and hospitality is projected to increase the fastest and add the largest number of jobs. The projected gain of 73,800 jobs (46% growth) in leisure and hospitality 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.

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, chefs, bartenders, waiters and waitresses, fast food workers, exercise trainers and 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, with 51,000 jobs (19% growth) over the 10-year period. This growth is attributed to the aging of the state’s population, longer life expectancies, and continued population growth. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and massage therapists are 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, more than half of 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 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 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 recovery and 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 (18%) and the Portland area (17%). Northwest Oregon is projected to grow at the same rate as Oregon statewide – 16%. All other areas are projected to have slower growth.

More information about the 2020-2030 industry and occupational projections for Oregon and sub-state areas can be found at www.qualityinfo.org/projections.

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