Lane County Jobs Projected to Increase 8 Percent by 2029
Lane County’s total employment will grow by 14,400 jobs between 2019 and 2029, according to new projections from the Oregon Employment Department. The projections point to modest job growth between 2019 and 2029, although many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations.
In 2019, there were 173,800 jobs in Lane County. The 8 percent increase in employment between 2019 and 2029 includes private-sector gains of 12,000 jobs, 1,800 jobs in government, and an additional 600 jobs for self-employed Lane County residents.
The Employment Department’s 2019-2029 employment projections are long-term projections intended to capture structural change in the economy, not cyclical fluctuations. As such, they do not project the full impacts of the COVID-19 recession and its recovery. However, some short-term adjustments were made to the industries that were most affected by the restrictions enacted due to the pandemic.
Big Industries Add the Most Jobs
All major industry sectors are expected to add jobs except information, which has no change over the 10-year period. Private health care and social assistance will add 5,000 jobs, the most of any sector in the county. It is followed by professional and business services with 1,800 additional jobs by 2029. There may be little surprise seeing health care and professional and business services among the top industries adding jobs, as they are two of the largest industries in the county. It’s notable that in addition to their size, these are also two of the fastest-growing industries.
Fast growth in private health care and social assistance (19%) can be attributed to the growing and aging county population. In addition, the county has become a regional health care center serving people from outside the county. Health care alone will account for over one-quarter of the new jobs created by 2029.
Construction is the second fastest growing industry (12%), adding 900 jobs between 2019 and 2029. Demand for construction will be driven by population and economic growth and low residential vacancy rates and associated rising prices. Rebuilding after the Holiday Farm Fire will add additional demand and job growth.
Professional and business services growth (10%) will be driven by gains in professional and technical services such as computer systems design and management of companies and enterprises. Management of companies and enterprises includes corporate offices headquartered in Lane County.
While overall employment and jobs in many sectors are expected to grow beyond their current peak levels, some sectors will fall short of their peak employment by 2029. Manufacturing employment is expected to grow by 6 percent to 15,000 jobs. That’s well below its most recent peak of 20,300 jobs in 2006.
Financial activities should grow by 1 percent to 8,200, below its height of 8,400 in 2007. The information sector is projected to add zero jobs and remain at 2,300, about 200 jobs below its last peak in 2007.
Each of these three below-peak sectors consist of different component industries growing in notably different ways. Some components of manufacturing – such as overall durable goods (4%) and transportation equipment manufacturing (14%) – show higher projected growth rates. Meanwhile, the relatively larger wood product manufacturing (-3%) shows a projected decline by 2029.
In financial activities, expected population growth and increased construction will cause a gain in real estate jobs. However, these jobs are expected to be countered by losses in financial establishments primarily engaged in deposit banking and extending credit. In the information sector, growth in the software publishing industry will be countered by losses in print publishing.
Projections show relatively modest growth in all broad areas of government. Federal government should continue to grow (5%), largely due to forest management and federal postal employment gains. State government is expected to grow 6 percent. Local government is expected to grow 6 percent, largely from gains in local education including higher education.
All Industries Need Workers
Whether growing rapidly or showing a net loss of jobs by 2029, all broad industries provide employment opportunities to Oregonians. The demand is clear in some industries. Together health care, professional and business services, and construction will account for nearly half of all new jobs in the county. Slower growing sectors and declining industries still offer job opportunities through replacement needs especially with an aging workforce and retirements.
By Brian Rooney
Douglas and Lane counties