Oregon industrial employment grows by 1 percent

Oregon industrial employment is showing slight expansion according to a survey compiled by Manufacturers’ News.
The state’s industrial sector added 2,289 manufacturing jobs between October 2011 and October 2012, a 1 percent gain. Nevertheless, it was more than double the gain reported over the 2010-2011 survey period.
Oregon is now home to 5,757 manufacturers employing 217,166 workers.
Medford’s Harry & David Holdings ranked No. 4 among the state’s largest manufacturing employers. The list was led by Intel in Hillsboro with 16,800 workers, followed by Nike in Beaverton with 4,700, and Daimler Trucks North America of Portland with 2,750. Harry & David Holdings had 2,600 workers, ahead of Beaverton-based Tektronix with 2,000. Illinois-based Manufacturers’ News said the industrial sector still suffers from the ailing housing industry, but “it maintains a winning mix of abundant natural resources and lower business costs than its neighbors.”
All of the bright spots in the report, however, are to the north.
MNI reports electronics manufacturing remains Oregon’s largest industrial sector by employment with 31,531 jobs, up 4.8 percent over the year. Food products manufacturing has overtaken wood products as the state’s second-largest industrial sector by employment, and currently accounts for 29,110 jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Wood products now employs 28,654 workers, down 4.6 percent from a year ago.
Northwest Oregon, taking in the Portland metro area, accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 161,551 jobs, up 1.7 percent over the year. Closer to home, Southwest Oregon, meanwhile, slumped 1.9 percent to 41,449 jobs. Southeast Oregon is home to 7,993 industrial workers, with no significant change reported. Northeast Oregon accounts for 6,173 industrial jobs, up 4.8 percent over the past12 months.
Portland remains Oregon’s top manufacturing area home to 48,252 jobs and matched the overall 1 percent gain. High-tech Hillsboro was No. 2, accounting for 24,840 jobs, and saw a 6.9 percent gain. Beaverton accounts for 15,801 manufacturing jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago, while fourth-ranked Eugene accounts for 11,661, down 1.3 percent. Salem climbed 2.6 percent during the period to 7,342 manufacturing jobs.
In general, major cities drew increased manufacturing activity as 28 of the largest 50 cities saw gains last year.

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    Greg Stiles

    Covering the Southern Oregon business and economy since 2001. Read Full
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