We hear all the time about readiness of the workforce. What about the readiness of our workforce system?
Now is the time to plan for the next economic downturn; to prepare for technological change; to shore up system gaps; and ensure Oregon’s continued economic success.
INCREASE INCOME ABILITY
Oregon must support programs and strategies that increase the skills and abilities of Oregonians to earn higher wages and advance along career pathways by increasing funding for training programs.
While the unemployment rate for Oregon is at a record low 3.9%; Oregon’s rate of labor underutilization is at 8.1%.
Many Oregonians engaged in full-time work have insufficient skills for higher-wage jobs. At the same time, employers offering high-quality jobs are facing a shortage of skilled workers capable of filling those jobs.
In Oregon, there are 63,478 job vacancies and 60% of those are difficult to fill and 29% require education beyond high school.
 Alternative measure of labor underutilization U-6 includes marginally attached workers, and those employed part-time for economic reasons, in addition to total unemployed.
(Bureau of Labor and Statistics 10/26/18)
 Qualityinfo.org Oregon Employment Department 3rd quarter 2018 and Summer 2018 Job Vacancy Survey
PREPARE YOUTH FOR WORK
Investing in internships and work-based learning for youth is essential to connecting low-income and underserved young people to work.
Youth employment increases likelihood of school completion, while lowering risks for crime and public assistance needs.
About 48% of unemployed teens and 14% of unemployed young adults have no work experience compared with 3 percent of unemployed adults ages 25 and over.
 Qualityinfo.org Unemployment Rates for Oregon’s Youth – Lowest on Record (07/16/18)
MONITORING WORKFORCE LEGISLATION
Closely watching workforce-related bills in the Oregon Legislature to bring awareness to employers and plan for future changes in funding.