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Employers Struggle To Fill Vacant Positions

Oregon Employment Department

Employers in Northwest Oregon and the Willamette Valley had a difficult time filling vacant positions in 2013. At any given time there were 8,000 vacancies, according to an Oregon Employment Department survey.

More than two-thirds of these vacancies did not require more than a high school education and offered an hourly wage of more than ten dollars. Many of these vacancies were for farm workers, meat and fish cutters, and home health care aides.

Regional Labor Economist Brian Rooney:

Rooney: “There are some occupations that are difficult to fill. You know, they tend to pay less and you know, are difficult temporary jobs so those can be difficult to fill. People would generally rather have a high paying, permanent, full-time position but unfortunately that’s not where all the vacancies are.”

The number of vacant positions in the state has been increasing since the recession. A year ago there were about five unemployed people for each vacant position. This year, that number dropped to four.