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Near record number of Oregon job openings makes it hard for employers to fill slots

Employment Department
Chris Lehman
The Oregon Employment Department says there are more than 100,000 job openings in the state.

The number of job openings in Oregon is at a near-record level. The Oregon Employment Department said Wednesday that there are just over 100-thousand vacancies right now.

Gail Krumenauer, an economist with the agency, said there are openings across every employment sector. But she said the healthcare field is having an especially difficult time filling slots.

“And that’s not a new trend since the pandemic started," she said. "Oregon’s health care sector has consistently had the largest need for workers since at least 2013.”

Krumenauer said the shortage of workers across all job sectors is due in part to some people being afraid of catching COVID on the job. But she says inconsistent or unavailable childcare is also part of the equation.

And she said average wages in Oregon have risen by about 14 percent over the past year, even when adjusted for inflation.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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