Posted by: Josh Lehner | January 29, 2014

Industries, An Update

Yesterday we took stock of Oregon’s regions across the state and how they compare at the end of 2013. Today we take a quick look at Oregon’s industries. Just a reminder that I allowed the pre-recession peak to vary by industry as we know, for example, construction and housing-related industries turned down earlier than the official recession start date. This is designed to capture the true depth of each industry’s Great Recession and also where in recovery each of these is today.

Private sector education, health, and food manufacturing are currently at all-time highs and never really suffered recessionary losses, although growth did slow during the Great Recession. Professional and business services and leisure and hospitality have all regained all their losses and are currently exhibiting strong growth and propelling overall employment forward. It is important to keep in mind that not all of these jobs are “bad jobs” and in particular professional and business services contains many high-wage, value-added positions.


With the Great Recession being a financial crises and housing bust, it is no surprise to see wood products, construction, mining and logging and financial services (losses are mostly real estate agents) among the hardest hit. These housing-related industries are just now beginning to rebound, along with the hardest hit housing metros, however have much ground to makeup during the recovery. Transportation equipment manufacturing suffered the worst and is likely a structural decline due to the RV industry’s collapse. With that being said, the subsectors tied to aerospace are doing great and the ship/boat building is growing again. Metals and machinery manufacturing have improved the most among our goods producing industries and Employment Regional Economist Amy Vander Vliet has a recent article on the industry.

All told, each of Oregon’s major industries has experienced some growth in recovery, albeit uneven across these industries. As the economy continues to recover there will be net winners and net losers when it comes to jobs, income and sales as business cycles have a way of restructuring the economy. With that being said, coming off such a deep recession, our goods producing industries will exhibit stronger growth than in past recessions, just given the cyclical rebound.


  1. […] This is the same methodology and graphing style used previously to highlight trends by region and by industry across the […]

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