Oregon’s Employment Market Continues to Strengthen – What does this mean for you?

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on May 22, 2015

For years, Oregon has been touted as one of the best places to live in the United States. Blessed with abundant natural beauty and a moderate climate, low crime and a welcoming culture, the Beaver State – typified by its largest city, Portland – saw an above-average 3.36 percent increase in population over the last five years.

Many of the state’s new inhabitants are young and college educated; the New York Times noted a 37 percent increase in Portland’s population of college graduates aged 25 to 34 between 2000 and 2012, the fourth-highest of any major metropolitan area in the nation, and the biggest increase of any west coast city. The city of Corvallis, Ore. has the country’s third-highest rate of undergraduate degree attainment.

This abundance of well-educated young workers was a boon to employers. Tech giants like Intel and Hewlett-Packard are among the state’s largest employers, joined by local success story Nike and the state’s robust education and healthcare sectors. At times, the available talent far outweighed the available positions: at the height of the 2009 recession, unemployment neared 12 percent as close to 148,000 jobs were wiped out.

That situation has changed drastically in recent years, thanks to an improving economy. Statewide unemployment is down to just 5.8 percent, with the Portland metro area slightly lower. The nationwide trend of job creation means that the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree is down to just 2.5 percent. For companies looking to add top talent, Oregon’s employment market is more competitive than it has been in years. For many, it will take more and more resources to locate ever-fewer qualified candidates.

In this market, a strong relationship with a recruiter can become a powerful asset. Expertise becomes substantially more important when increased competition makes a formerly simple hiring process much more difficult. A good recruiter won’t just be locating and delivering talented employees, it will be responsive to your needs and have a vested interest in the long-term success of your company. After all, your growth will result in more business in the future.

TERRA Staffing Group is the staffing leader for the Pacific Northwest and Phoenix, with offices across three states. Contact us today to discover how TERRA’s expertise can help your company fulfill its potential.

Categories: HR and Management Advice, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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