PORTLAND, Ore. — Hiring in Oregon came roaring back in the second pandemic year, but employers report struggles hiring for the most in-demand jobs.
Job vacancies hit a record number in 2021 with an estimated 97,000 openings, the Oregon Employment Department reported last month. The number of openings was 69% higher than the count in 2019, at the end of a long period of economic growth and just before the pandemic froze hiring, according to the OED analysis.
"Occupations with the highest number of job vacancies in 2021 reflected conditions of the rapid job recovery, including a diminished supply of workers as the year went on and businesses attempted to fully reopen following pandemic restrictions," OED employment economist Jessica Nelson wrote.
The OED compiled 23 occupations with the most vacancies in the state. They include drivers, restaurant workers and multiple health care jobs — all vital occupations.
Added to the high demand for the jobs is the difficulty in filling them. In all occupations but one, more than half were reported by employers as difficult to fill. For one job, 90% of vacancies were reported as difficult to fill.
To see the Oregon occupations most in demand by employers in 2021, click through the slideshow above.
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