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Who's still hiring in Oregon during the pandemic

"Many employers are still hiring, though in much smaller numbers and at a far slower rate," says one longtime Oregon jobs expert.
Credit: Associated Press / KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon's Employment Department last week offered a smidgeon of good news: The state's unemployment rate dropped in July, to 10.4%, a full 1.2% improvement.

The upbeat word, though, came with a warning: The state's hiring slowed way down last month, adding 20,500 jobs compared to 57,000-plus in June.

Yet a quick glimpse at Mac's List, the Portland jobs board that also tracks hiring trends, indicates that several businesses and nonprofits still need workers. That's particularly true in the health care realm. The slideshow below, which gives a by-the-numbers (and skillsets) look at local hiring, features 24 organizations. More than half of those provide health care services.

SEE SLIDESHOW: Who's hiring in Oregon during the pandemic

Mac Prichard, who oversees the jobs board and whose group also offers counseling and hiring services, said COVID-19 has clarified job seekers' mission.

"Many employers are still hiring, though in much smaller numbers and at a far slower rate than in February," or before COVID arrived in Oregon, Prichard explained. "So candidates are seeing longer waits before getting job interviews and offers.

"And with so much competition now, it’s more important than ever if you’re looking for work to be clear about your job search goals and target employers."

Prichard, who's tracked Oregon jobs trends for nearly 20 years, said Covid has yielded one big permanent change.

"Remote work is here to stay," he said. "Workers will eventually return to offices, but in many cases only for a few days a week or even less. We can also expect many people who are out of work to become self-employed or start their own companies."

What's more, he expects many workers to change careers after the pandemic "as they think about their own personal values and priorities."

Prichard said he'll watch new job listings on his own regional jobs board as well as national sites to gauge early indicators of an economic recovery.

For now, click on this link to get a glimpse at the businesses and organizations that need workers as Oregon continues to navigate the pandemic economy.

If your business is hiring, let us know at Portland@bizjournals.com and we'll include in our next jobs roundup.

WATCH: Straight Talk | Strategies to navigate work and school from home