Oregon’s Food Manufacturing Industry – Adding Value

Jordan Macias, Oregon Employment Department Workforce Analyst, Benton, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties

Food manufacturers process livestock and agricultural inputs into products for intermediate or final consumption. The industry adds value to raw agricultural products, selling its output to wholesalers or retailers for distribution to consumers. Although wholesalers and retailers are an important cog in bringing products to market, much like agricultural producers, they are not part of the food manufacturing industry.

The industry groups found in food manufacturing are categorized by the raw agricultural input processed. Food manufacturing consists of these industry groups, listed by their 2022 employment total:

  • Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing (9,981)
  • Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing (5,853)
  • Other Food Manufacturing (4,492)
  • Dairy Product Manufacturing (2,504)
  • Animal Slaughtering and Processing (2,107)
  • Grain and Oilseed Milling (1,312)
  • Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging (1,083)
  • Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing (796)
  • Animal Food Manufacturing (297)

Nationally, the food manufacturing industry provided more than 1.6 million jobs in 2022 with a payroll of $88.8 billion. Oregon’s food manufacturing industry produced a location quotient (LQ) of 1.30 in 2022, showing a higher concentration of employment relative to the nation. Nebraska produced an LQ of 3.59 to lead the states and Oregon’s food manufacturing industry ranked 17th. California ranked highest for employment in 2021, with close to 166,000 jobs, while Oregon ranked in the middle of the pack in the 25th position.

Oregon Food Manufacturing in 2022

Oregon’s food manufacturing industry provided just over 28,500 jobs in 2022. The industry reached peak employment in 2019 with nearly 29,900 jobs. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, food manufacturing cut about 2,100 jobs, a one-month drop of 7.6%, falling to 25,900. Food manufacturing typically reaches its seasonal employment high in the month of July – but its 2022 peak trailed July 2019 by nearly 2,000 jobs (-6%).
Graph showing Oregon Food Manufacturing Employment by Month: 2020 - 2022

Food manufacturing’s payroll exceeded $1.5 billion in 2022, an increase of $81 million or 5.7% over 2021. Despite its COVID job losses, food manufacturing increased its payroll by 3.7% in 2020 – pushing its three-year gain (2020-2022) to $163.4 million or 12.2%.

Food manufacturing’s annual pay averaged $52,704 in 2022 – a one-year increase of 4% or about $2,013. Annual pay rose by 10.8% in 2020 alone as the industry adjusted to COVID protocols with fewer workers. Oregon’s private industry pay averaged $65,389 in 2022 or about 24% higher than in food manufacturing. Private industry’s average pay rose by 10.9% (+$6,430) from 2020 to 2022, just ahead of food manufacturing’s 9.9% (+$4,754).

Food manufacturing included 938 business units in 2022, setting a new peak for the industry, just ahead of 2021’s 904 units. Food manufacturing business units (with employment) averaged 30.4 jobs in 2022 – down from 2019’s 33.6 jobs.

The Subsectors

Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing represented better than one out of three (35%) food manufacturing industry jobs in 2022, averaging about 10,000. Its payroll reached $551 million, representing nearly 36% of food manufacturing’s total. Annual pay in fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty foods reached $54,771 in 2022, just above (+3.7%) the food manufacturing industry average. The subsector included 133 business units in 2022, an increase of 24 units over 2012. The average business unit provided 75 jobs in 2022, a drop of 10 jobs compared with 2012.

Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing averaged close to 6,200 jobs or 21% of food manufacturing’s 2022 total. Payrolls in bakeries and tortilla manufacturing rose to $281 million in 2022 to represent 18.5% of the industry’s total pay. Annual pay averaged $45,570, lagging the food manufacturing industry average by about 15.6% or $7,134. Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing included 314 business units in 2022 or about one out of three food manufacturing units. The number of business units in bakeries and tortilla manufacturing increased by 72 or about 29% over 2012. Each unit provided an average of 20 jobs in 2022, which is relatively unchanged from 2012.
Graph showing 2022 Oregon Food Manufacturing Employment by Subsector

Other food manufacturing covers an entire range of miscellaneous food products, including snack foods, coffee and tea, concentrates, syrups, condiments, and spices. The subsector provided nearly 4,400 jobs in 2022 or about 15% of the food manufacturing industry total. Other food manufacturing boasted a payroll of $222 million, representing about 15% of the industry total. Annual pay in other food manufacturing surpassed $51,000 but lagged the industry average by close to $1,600 or 3%. The other food manufacturing subsector included 212 business units (with employment) or about 22% of the industry’s units. Since 2012, other food manufacturing gained 120 business units, an increase of about 93%. The average unit provided 18 jobs in 2022, a drop of 12 jobs since 2012.

The dairy product manufacturing subsector processes dairy products from raw milk, processed milk, and dairy substitutes. Dairy product manufacturing averaged close to 2,600 jobs in 2022 or 9% of the food manufacturing industry total. Payrolls in dairy product manufacturing reached $160 million and its average wage topped $61,842, exceeding the industry’s average by about 15% or $9,138. The subsector included 45 business units in 2022 or about 5% of the food manufacturing industry total, an increase of five units over 2012. The average unit size has fallen since 2011, dropping from 62 jobs to 57.

The animal slaughtering and processing industry provided around 2,200 jobs in 2022 or more than 7% of food manufacturing’s total. The subsector’s payroll rose to $118 million in 2022 and its average wage reached about $53,000. The number of business units (with employment) rose from 59 in 2012 to 67 in 2022. Animal slaughtering and processing averaged 33 jobs in 2022 – an increase of nine jobs per unit since 2012.

The four remaining food manufacturing subsectors together provided close to 3,500 jobs in 2022 and a payroll reaching $186 million. Animal food manufacturing paid the highest average wage in the food manufacturing industry, at about $72,300, and with just 33 business units, the subsector averaged about nine jobs per unit in 2022.

Sugar and confectionery product manufacturing paid around $38,300 per job in 2022, lagging the food manufacturing industry average by about $14,000. The average size in sugar and confectionery product manufacturing fell by one job from 2012 to 2022 while adding 32 additional units.

Grain and oilseed milling grew by six business units from 2012 to 2022 and increased its size per unit by about 12 jobs to an average of 60. Grain and oilseed milling paid an average of $67,300 in 2022, exceeding the food manufacturing industry average by about $14,000 or 21%.

Seafood product preparation and packaging included 36 business units in 2022, increasing its unit count by nine to reach a new peak. The subsector averaged about 30 jobs per unit in 2022, dropping around 14 jobs since 2012. Seafood product preparation and packaging paid an average of $47,140 in 2022, lagging the food manufacturing average by about $5,500 jobs or 11.8%.

Geographic Profile

Food manufacturers produced products and jobs in 33 of Oregon’s 36 counties in 2022. Multnomah County led the state with about 6,933 jobs or 24% of food manufacturing’s total. Marion County ranked second in 2022 with around 3,476 jobs (12%), followed by Washington County’s 2,608 (9%), Clackamas County’s 2,387 (8%), and Lane County’s 2,276 (7.9%). Rural Oregon was led by Morrow County’s 1,745 jobs (6%), good enough to rank sixth statewide, followed by Umatilla County’s 1,200 jobs (4%), ranking seventh.

Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing produced products and jobs in 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties, capturing the broadest geographic representation of any subsector, while grain and oilseed milling operated in just 11 counties. Multnomah County led five subsectors, including animal food; sugar and confectionary products; dairy products; bakeries and tortillas; and other food manufacturing. Marion County led fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing with 23% of the industry’s jobs.

Recent Past and 10-Year Forecast

Oregon’s food manufacturing industry is expected to add 1,700 jobs between 2022 and 2032 to reach 30,200, an increase of 6% or 170 jobs annually. Oregon’s manufacturing industry has a slightly faster growth projection, at 7%, while the overall rate for private industry climbs to 11%.

Over the most recent 10-year stretch, from 2012 to 2022, Oregon’s food manufacturing industry rose by 4,083 jobs or 16.5%. The grain and oilseed milling subsector led growth on a percentage basis, rising by 72% or 530 jobs. Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing led employment growth, rising by nearly 1,400 jobs or 11%. Only seafood product preparation and packaging (-12%) lost jobs between 2012 and 2022. Food manufacturing has yet to recover all the jobs it lost during the pandemic – but one trend that did carry through the downturn was growth in business units, particularly the transition to smaller-sized firms.

Original Post – https://www.qualityinfo.org/-/oregon-s-food-manufacturing-industry-adding-value-1?redirect=%2F

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