BEND, OR -- The Oregon Employment Department says over the next ten years, job opportunities will continue to grow, especially in the local tri-county area. Regional Economist Damon Runberg, with the Employment Department, says Central Oregon's population is growing quickly, and jobs will need to keep pace, "Over the next 10 years, we're expected to be the fastest growing - or have the fastest pace of job growth of any of the regions across the state. Our rate of job growth is anticipated to be around 15%, and for some context, the state's supposed to grow around 12%."
He says Information, Business Services and Healthcare will be plentiful, but Runberg expects one sector to outpace them all, "When we actually break it down by industry, we feel that, at least our projections show that construction is supposed to be, by far, the fastest growing industry; so, 35% growth, over the next 10 years, which really blows all the other industries out of the water." Runberg tells KBND News, "When you actually consider these growth openings from economic gains, combined with having to replace these open positions that will have been vacated, there's really closer to 137,000 job openings expected by 2027." He says, "That is a huge, huge number."
Runberg credits changes around the region for the exponential growth, "As we continue to see this transformation of Central Oregon, in particular the Bend/Redmond areas from this traditional rural job base to more of this urban composition, growth in the Professional sector, the Business Services, really taking up a larger share of our employment than it ever has, historically."