No Growth in Share of Oregon Jobs Belonging to State and Local Government

Fact Sheet
May 12, 2017 Download PDF

About one out of seven jobs in Oregon are state or local government jobs — a slightly lower ratio than more than two decades ago. Since 1990, Oregon’s working-age population and private sector jobs have both grown slightly faster than state and local government jobs.

In 2016, state and local government jobs were 15.1 percent (about one in seven) of all jobs in Oregon. In 1990, state and local jobs comprised 16 percent (about one in six) of Oregon’s jobs.[1] State and local government job growth has been slower than the growth in private jobs and the number of working-age Oregonians. From 1990 to 2016, the number of combined state and local jobs grew 40 percent, compared to the 51 percent growth of private sector jobs and 47 percent growth in Oregon’s working-age population.[2]

As Oregon lawmakers consider how to address Oregon’s $1.6 billion budget shortfall, they should recognize that Oregon’s government — measured by the share of all jobs that are state and local government jobs — has not changed much since 1990.

[1] OCPP analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data of nonfarm employment. The data series for Oregon began in 1990. The sharp decline of the share of state employees and corresponding increase in local employees in 2014 is due to the fact that several public universities in Oregon set up independent boards that year, leading BLS to reclassify employees of these institutions as local, rather than state, employees.

[2] OCPP analysis of data provided by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis on 4/27/2017. Working-age population is defined as individuals between the ages of 18 and 64.

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