COVID-19: Job Postings in a Shrinking Labor Market (Portland Metro)

The economic crisis created by COVID-19 has led to unprecedented shrinkage in the job market. Across industries, workers are facing reduced hours, temporary furloughs, and permanent layoffs. Hiring, however, has not stopped. Companies are working to fill openings that existed before the outbreak and to bring on new employees to meet changes in demand caused by the crisis.

Job postings show who is hiring and what jobs they need to fill. Tracking job posting trends and comparing them to the previous month and 2019 averages shows changes in the labor market. The tables below detail the industries (Table 3) and occupations (Table 5) with the largest number of postings during the past month.

Jobs that require working in close proximity to others (excluding healthcare workers) have likely been impacted the most by measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Portland Metro. There are an estimated 181,380 such jobs in the region, 20% of all jobs. For comparison, this same set of jobs makes up 29% of the overall US workforce.

Between March 15 and April 15, 2020, the total number of unique job postings in Portland Metro was 82,279. This represents an 8 percent decrease from the previous month and a 23 percent decrease for the same period in 2019. The four companies with the greatest number of online postings (Oracle, OHSU, Nike, and Providence) had fewer postings than during the same period last year.

The most in demand occupations were Registered Nurses (3,128 unique postings), Software Developers (3,035 unique postings), and Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (2,519 unique postings). This represented a slight decrease in posting activity from the previous month for software developers (-6%) and truck drivers -1%). The activity for registered nurses was basically unchanged. However, when compared to the same month in 2019, the demand for both occupations, and indeed the demand for nearly all occupations, was down (-11% Registered Nurses, -27% for Software Developers, and -41% Truck Drivers).



Date posted: 
Monday, June 1, 2020