Report: Employers having trouble filling vacancies in Oregon

Employers had trouble filling more than half of the 58,000 vacancies last year, according to a new report released by Oregon's Employment Department.

Posted: May 31, 2019 5:50 PM
Updated: May 31, 2019 5:55 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Employers had trouble filling more than half of the 58,000 vacancies last year, according to a new report released by Oregon's Employment Department.

Regional economist Brian Rooney said it's because people are finding jobs easily in the specific economic period we are in.

"It's been a long, slow economic recovery, and it's going on 10 years now, and it's the longest recovery in history as of this month," Rooney said. 

Account manager Serena Doughan with Staffing Partners said she's not surprised by the report. She said they have about 15 or 20 jobs currently open right now, and they include jobs in manufacturing, construction, cleaning and more.

She told KEZI 9 News the main reason applicants don't get jobs in our area when they do apply is because of the drug test.

"It's pretty difficult because of the THC," Doughan said. "We still drug screen for THC, so that plays a big factor because our clients want to make sure people are clean. People come in and can't pass a drug screen, so it makes it really difficult." 

She said being able to find employees and getting them to actually come in and apply is another huge barrier they're faced with today.

"If someone comes in, and they can get to work and they are able bodied and are willing to work, they pretty much can have a job guaranteed probably the next day," Doughan said. 

Rooney said blue collar jobs are the hardest ones to fill right now, and the summer season does not make it any easier. As the recovery continues, Rooney said the labor market will loosen up, and it'll be easier for employers to fill their vacancies.

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