Oregon struggles to fill vacancies within the job market as more are created every day

According to a recent survey by an industry organization, Oregon employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill job vacancies within certain workforces. Not only is Oregon's unemployment rate at a record low, but the economy is expected to create 263,000 job openings every year through 2027.

Concerning job vacancies, difficult-to-fill positons create the greatest issues for employers. Although these positions typically offer higher wages, they also require some previous experience. When employers attempt to fill these positions, they do not receive enough applicants or they are forced to deny applicants that are not qualified and lack soft skills, according to the Difficult-to-Fill Job Openings Oregon Job Vacancy Survey done in June.

During 2017, Oregon had up to 60,700 job vacancies at any one time, and businesses reported that 38,700 (64 percent) of those were difficult to fill. Among those difficult-to-fill positions were truck drivers, carpenters, personal care aides, construction laborers, farmworkers and restaurant cooks.

Over the next 10 years, Oregon businesses are expected to continue increasing the demand for more employees, and all private sectors will contribute to adding jobs. Between 2017 and 2027, Oregon's employment is projected to grow by 12 percent and add 246,000 new jobs.

Health care is at the peak of this employment increase with one of five new jobs created in Oregon being related to the health care industry. Eleven of the top 20 occupations of high growth rate are in the health field and include physician and medical assistants, home health aides, nurse practitioners, veterinarians and veterinary assistants, physical and massage therapists, and other health diagnosing and treating practitioners.

Following health, construction is Oregon's second fastest-growing industry. Due to economic and population growth, as well as low residential inventory and commercial vacancy rates, construction employment is expected to rise by 16,900 jobs.

With the increase in job vacancies, career opportunities will be available across all job types, the survey said. Nearly one half of all job openings, however, will require some training beyond high school and the occupations with the greatest amount of openings will require at least a bachelor's degree.

For more information on Oregon workforce data, visit To access the Difficult-to-Fill Job Openings Oregon Job Vacancy Survey done in June, visit

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