On a day that the national unemployment rate stood still at 10 percent,
Oregon’s unemployment rate remains stuck at 11 percent. The state Employment Department reports that about 4,600 workers lost their jobs in November 2009, the last month of available data.
Nationally, the U.S. Department of Labor forecasts job growth to increase about 10 percent over the next decade, or about 15 million jobs. In the last two years, 7 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. economy, federal economists report.
Amy Vander Vliet studies the numbers for the Oregon Employment Department.
“A little over 40 percent (of new jobs) will pay under $30,000 a year and about 25 percent will pay over $50,000 a year,” she said. “So yes, the lower paying jobs will be growing more rapidly than the higher paying jobs."
One area of projected growth with high paying jobs is the area of biotechnology. Dr. Kenton Gregory, one of the inventors of the shrimp bandage that speeds coagulation, is on the leading edge.
“I’m starting two new bio-tech companies this year so we’ll be looking for biomedical engineers,” he said.
Dr. Gregory believes the next 10 years hold explosive growth for the industry.
“There's so many problems that still need to be solved. And as our population ages they're going to want to continue living a high quality life and that's going to require new medical treatments and new medical technologies. We need to develop those and manufacture those and so I see a great growth in the next decade in biomedical engineering," Gregory said.
But those jobs are highly specialized. Economists say many of