Oregon’s job vacancy survey released for 2013

During 2013, Central Oregon’s private employers were looking to fill about 3,000 job vacancies at any given time, according to new annual figures from the Oregon Employment Department’s Job Vacancy Survey. The Job Vacancy Survey provides a snapshot of the labor market job seekers face.

These results are for Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler counties in 2013. A statewide report was also released.

More than 400 occupations statewide had vacancies in 2013. The top 25 Central Oregon occupations shown in the table represent nearly 72 percent of the total. Seven occupations had more than 100 vacancies each: personal care aides, farm workers and laborers, janitors and cleaners, registered nurses, food preparation and serving workers, material movers, and teacher assistants.

Wages offered for job vacancies varied widely depending on the education requirement. Vacancies that did not require education beyond high school offered an average hourly wage of $11.06 per hour, compared with average hourly wages of $19.33 per hour for vacancies that required an associate degree, $26.14 per hour for a bachelor’s degree, and $39.05 for a graduate degree.

Employers also offered higher wages when their vacancies required more than a year of previous experience. Vacancies with no experience requirement paid an average of $9.98 per hour. Those requiring less than one year of experience paid $10.57 per hour. For vacancies that required one to five years of previous work experience, the average wage offered was $15.87 per hour, while those that required five or more years of experience averaged $29.76.

The health care and social assistance industry accounted for nearly two out of five vacancies (39 percent), more than any other industry sector. The management, administrative and waste services industry (which includes company headquarters and temporary staffing agencies, among other businesses) accounted for 15 percent of Central Oregon job vacancies. The natural resources and mining industry represented 9 percent of Central Oregon job vacancies and the leisure and hospitality industry also accounted for 9 percent.

The survey captured data for five sub-state regions: Northwest Oregon/Willamette Valley; the Portland Tri-County area; Southwestern Oregon; Central Oregon and Eastern Oregon. The Portland Tri-County area had just over 16,000 vacancies, 49 percent of the statewide total. Vacancies in the Portland Tri-County area were more likely to require education beyond high school, and offered higher wages on average, at $16.61 per hour.

The Oregon Job Vacancy Survey has been conducted since 2008. The 2013 Oregon Job Vacancy Survey results represent the first ever combination of four quarters worth of vacancy surveys. The estimates are based on responses from 10,600 Oregon employers. Vacancy survey results for the first quarter of 2014 are scheduled for release in April 2014. A special report on Oregon’s difficult-to-fill vacancies will be available later this spring.

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

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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