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Customer service reps, ticket takers, cooks top hirees

Private employers were looking to fill about 32,000 job openings at any given time last year in Oregon, according to a recent report by the Oregon Employment Department.

Half of those jobs were up for hire in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

Every year, the employment department distributes a survey to Oregon employers. The results aim to help provide a snapshot of the labor market job seekers face.

More than 10,000 Oregon employers responded to the survey last year.

The following data and figures are specific to the tri-county area.


Businesses in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties reported openings for more than 300 different jobs.

Jobs with the most openings (more than 400) included customer service representatives; ushers, lobby attendants and ticket takers; cooks; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; retail sales people; and waiters and waitresses.

There were 357 openings for registered nurses.

Jobs with more than 200 openings included amusement and recreation attendants, software developers, massage therapists, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, stock clerks and order fillers, carpenters, cooks and restaurant workers.


Wages for available positions varied widely depending on the level of education required for the job, the report said.

Jobs that did not require education beyond high school offered an average hourly rate of below $13 per hour, compared with $24.87 per hour for openings requiring an associate’s degree, $28.46 for a bachelor’s degree and $36.9 for a graduate degree.

The report also found that employers offered higher wages when the job required more work experience. Positions requiring no previous work experience paid an average of $12.51 per hour. Those requiring one to five years of experience paid $17.70 per hour, and five or more years of experience paid $29.04, according to the report.


The survey also analyzed job openings by industry. Leisure and hospitality accounted for nearly one in five openings, more than any other broad industry.

Three other industries — manufacturing; health care and social assistance; and management, administrative and waste services — accounted for more than 10 percent of the region’s vacancies.

Jobs in the professional and scientific industry, including law, accounting, architecture and engineering firms, paid the highest on average ($29.72), followed by financial activities ($26).

These sectors had more than 1,000 vacancies each, the report said.

Vacancies in the tri-county area were more likely to require education beyond high school, and offered higher wages on average ($16.61) than the four other regions captured in the survey, including northwest Oregon/Willamette Valley; southwestern Oregon; central Oregon; and eastern Oregon.

For more details on statewide and regional openings, visit the “publications” tab on QualityInfo.org and scroll down to the section titled “Oregon Job Vacancies.”

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