Thanks to the drastic drop in Oregon unemployment, jobs are becoming easier to find, which provides plenty of opportunities for the aspiring job seeker. In March 2018, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, which is down from a high of 11.8 percent in 2010.
Oregon's biggest industries revolve around the wealth of natural resources the state possesses, namely their vast woodlands. Logging and forestry industries are some of the state's long-standing employers and continue to hire more people than any other. Agriculture and food processing are also among the state's biggest industries, exporting approximately $3 billion in food products annually and $500 million in forest products. Oregon's natural scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities ensure its tourism and hospitality industries thrive.
Forestry and agriculture may be the biggest industries, but they are not the only jobs in the state. Nursing and medical technician jobs are plentiful, with medical employers topping the list of prominent businesses in the central region. Central Oregon's largest private employer is St. Charles Health System, with an employee base of 4,183. Intel is one of the biggest employers in the entire state, with around 20,000 people based in Hillsboro.
State government jobs in Oregon offer excellent career opportunities with an enviable benefits package. Salaries vary, but remain very competitive with other states. Expect to find a large portion of state government jobs in Salem, the state capital, but there are plenty throughout the state, including in Portland and Eugene.
With the vast natural resources that Oregon possesses, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior are crucial to its economic success. The USDA is responsible for developing and regulating federal law regarding farming, forestry, and food production, while the DOI is responsible for conservation and management of Oregon's natural resources and federal lands. It also administers programs for the indigenous peoples within the state. Oregon officially recognizes nine tribes within its borders.
Oregon is naturally breathtaking in its beauty and provides a solid foundation for job seekers. From its rugged woodlands to its booming factories, Oregon career opportunities are waiting for the knowledgeable applicant.