Nearly 50,000 health-care jobs have been added to the state’s economy since 1990. Even the 2001-2003 recession did not faze Oregon’s strong health-care employment growth. Why? The demand for workers is driven by at least two factors. The patient population is increasing and aging. Also, aging health-care workers must be replaced as they retire. Projections show 10 of the 25 fastest-growing occupations in Oregon from 2004 to 2014 will be health-care occupations that provide direct health-care services. Health-care occupations will make up 13% of the state’s projected new jobs over the decade. Rapid job growth makes health care the only major occupational group with more projected job openings due to growth than due to existing workers leaving the occupation. Many of these jobs pay well, too. Several health-care occupations are among the top wage earners in the state. This helps keep the industry’s average pay well above state levels.
—Brenda Turner, occupational economist
WorkSource Oregon Employment Department
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