Here's how Oregon's manufacturing sector can expect to grow
Demand is apparent for new jobs in some industries like leisure and hospitality, health care, and professional and business services in Oregon's immediate future. But for the manufacturing sector, varying niche sectors are experiencing more complicated highs and lows.
A November 22 report from the Oregon Employment Department projects that the state could add 317,600 jobs from 2020 to 2030, an increase of 16%. The report, which accounts for the recovery from low 2020 employment levels, found that this job growth rate is historically high.
As for manufacturing, the report found this sector could fall short of its peak, adding 205,900 jobs — an 11% growth — by 2030. The manufacturing industry peaked in 2006 at 207,300 jobs for Oregonians, with an all-time high in 1998 of 228,600.
In 2020, manufacturing lost 12,700 jobs in Oregon, a decline of 6%, the state report said.
However, niche industries like transportation equipment manufacturing have a projected growth rate of 23% by 2030, and primary metal manufacturing projects a 16% increase by 2030 — overall, these micro sectors are expected to show growth. The top three manufacturing niche industries showing strong growth are computer and electronic product manufacturing, semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing, and food manufacturing.
Other industries with expected losses include news media, paper-related production and distribution including paper mills, and retail trade, especially for electronics and appliances.
According to state employment economist Gail Krumenauer, transportation equipment manufacturing is projected to add 2,500 jobs from 2020 to 2030 — a growth rate of 23%. This sector includes boat, RV, aircraft and truck production.
"There have been some travel-related setbacks both during the COVID recession, and in some cases even a bit before it, affecting companies in this industry," Krumenauer told the Business Tribune. "Demand for those products should bounce back in the months and years to come."
Employment in niche sectors like primary metals manufacturing declined significantly from 2019 to 2020, Krumenauer said. Before the pandemic, this sector employed 9,500 jobs, and projections show a return to only 9,000 jobs.
"As of October 2021, the only types of manufacturing that were above their October 2019 levels were sawmills, other wood product manufacturing, and semiconductor manufacturing," Krumenauer said. "It's best to compare the same month from previous years since the numbers aren't seasonally adjusted."
Combined, health care, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services are expected to offer more than 50% of all new jobs in Oregon from now until 2030. On the other hand, jobs for news reporters, logging equipment operators, bank tellers, and telemarketers are expected to decline.
The report found Oregon employed 1,998,400 workers in 2020, and the state's projected 16% employment increase by 2030 includes 8,300 self-employed jobs, 25,700 government jobs, and 283,500 private sector jobs. Leisure and hospitality alone is expected to add 73,800 jobs.
According to the report, most of the job openings will be needed due to retiring workers, people making occupational changes, and new or expanding businesses. Even sectors that show a decline in job growth will need to hire replacements for retirees or others making career changes, the report said.
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