Oregon lost fewer manufacturing jobs over past 12 months

RP news wires

Industrial employment in Oregon fell 3.2 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2011 Oregon Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Oregon lost 7,530 industrial jobs and 114 manufacturers between October 2009 and October 2010, less than half the loss reported by MNI over the 2008-2009 survey period.

Manufacturers' News reports Oregon is now home to 5,861 manufacturers employing 215,044 workers.

"Oregon's industrial sectors continue to be battered by the housing bust and the recession," says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "However, we're definitely seeing fewer job losses than we did a year ago and new manufacturing facilities continue to emerge."

Bright spots for Oregon included Intel's plans to expand its Hillsboro facility; the opening of a LaCrosse Footwear manufacturing plant in Portland; the expansion of Finnish wind gear manufacturer Moventas at its Portland factory; the opening of Indow Windows, a manufacturer of energy-efficient window inserts, in North Portland; and the expansion of Solaicx's North Portland solar panel plant.

Companies closing down over the year included International Paper in Albany, Suntron Corporation in Newberg, Oberto Sausage Company in Albany and Benchmark Electronics in Beaverton.

MNI reports lumber and wood remains Oregon's largest industrial sector by employment with 30,912 jobs, down 9.4 percent over the year, after layoffs at Weyerhaeuser's engineered wood products site in Albany and at Roseburg Forest Products, among others. Second-ranked electronics manufacturing accounts for 28,566 jobs, down 1.6 percent over the past 12 months, while third-ranked food products manufacturing accounts for 28,520 industrial jobs, with no significant change reported over the year.  

Industrial sectors that lost jobs over the year included printing/publishing, down 6.6 percent; transportation equipment, down 6 percent; furniture/fixtures, down 5.4 percent; stone/clay/glass, down 3.4 percent; rubber/plastics, down 1.7 percent; paper products, down 1.3 percent; and chemicals/allied products, down 1.1 percent. Sectors that gained jobs included fabricated metals, up 3.6 percent; primary metals, up 3.2 percent; and textiles/apparel, up 2 percent.

Manufacturers' News reports Northwest Oregon accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 157,319 jobs, down 2.1 percent over the year. Southwest Oregon accounts for 43,616 jobs, down 6.6 percent, while Southeast Oregon is home to 8,230 industrial workers, also down 6.6 percent. Northeast Oregon accounts for 5,879 industrial jobs, down 4.8 percent.  

MNI's city data shows Portland is Oregon's top city for manufacturing employment, home to 46,787 jobs, down just 1 percent over the year. Second-ranked Hillsboro accounts for 22,909 jobs, with employment up 1.4 percent. Industrial employment in Beaverton fell 2.7 percent and is currently home to 15,494 industrial workers. Eugene accounts for 12,652 industrial jobs, down 2.7 percent, while Salem accounts for 7,379 jobs, down 3.7 percent over the past 12 months.

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