The Future of Jobs in Central Oregonby Carolyn B EaganPublished Feb-10-2010
The current recession
has led many to ask, "Now what do I do?" Layoffs caused many workers to rethink their career choices or obtain additional training. This year's enrollment figures at all area colleges confirm a growing demand for education and training in the region. All workers, whether employed or not, are asking: Will there be a job in the field in which I am interested? Which occupations are expected to grow in the next 10 years? Will I really earn more money in a different occupation?
Which Occupations are Forecast to Add Jobs?
By the year 2018, Central Oregon is projected to have 11,000 more jobs than it did in 2008. The largest portion of that job growth is expected to be in service occupations. There are five occupational groups that are projected to have double digit job growth (Graph 1
); however, growth is projected in all occupational groups for our region.
The significant growth in service occupations does not equate to a transition to a complete service sector economy. Service occupations include police officers and firefighters in addition to hotel desk clerks and personal care workers. This type of job growth is reasonable considering Central Oregon is forecast to continue to attract new residents and businesses. The projected growth in the professional and related and health care occupation groups point to a future with more nurses, teachers, engineers and physicians in Central Oregon.
Two occupational groups that have historically grown very fast in Central Oregon: construction and extraction; and installation, maintenance and repair. Over the next 10 years, these two occupation groups are not forecast to grow significantly. This is related to the boom and recent bust of the residential housing market. At this point, the occupations are not expected to return to pre-recession levels for a very long time.
How Much Education Will I Need?
Today, nearly half of the jobs in Central Oregon require related work experience or some short-term on-the-job training. By the year 2018, this percentage will remain the same. In 2018, only a little more than one-quarter of all jobs will require postsecondary training or a college degree.
What Will be the Impact on Wages?
As has been stated over and over again, education pays. In general, the more education that an occupation requires the higher the wages paid. Since there will be no change in the number of jobs that require various levels of training or education, it follows that there will not be a drastic change in wages earned in Region 10. In 2008, one out of every two jobs in Central Oregon were considered high wage - those jobs that pay more than the 2009 median wage. That percentage is projected to be the same in 2018. For more information on which jobs are classified as high wage, visit www.QualityInfo.org