Workforce, Jobs, and Industries

The Region has a complex job and employment base with varied levels of skills and educational attainment that may or may not reflect the needs of current and emerging industries. The types of jobs in the Region have changed over the past few decades, with a robust timber industry (see Food Access and Agriculture for more details) being replaced with service and professional jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest-paying jobs are in the manufacturing and information sectors.

2016 Jobs and Wages by Industry for Region

A review of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) top-level private-sector industry data for the Region shows that the service-producing industries employ the most people, with an average annual wage of $36,112. The top category by number of jobs — Trade, Transportation, and Utilities — includes all retail trade, wholesale trade, transportation, and warehousing. The highest average annual pay, however, is in manufacturing ($65,810), which accounts for 14.4 percent of the jobs in the Region (almost double the 7.5% rate from 2014).

Peer Regions Jobs and Wages

The retail trade industry employs many people, making the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry the largest employment category among OCWCOG’s peer Regions. However, the distribution of employment and wages among each Region begins to reveal structural differences in employment among our Region’s peers.

For more information on OCWCOG’s peer Regions, see Peer Regions.

Educational Attainment

For 2016, our Region is slightly lower than the State and national average for the percentage of the population age 25 and older that has a bachelor’s degree. The Region is closely aligned with the nation in terms of the percentage that has a bachelor’s degree or higher at 29.6 percent. Visit Migration to see additional information about educational attainment in our Region.

Our Region is estimated to have a high proportion of adults, over 38 percent, with some college or an Associate degree, when compared with the national average.

Refer to Community and Health Indicators for high school graduation rates in the Region.

Educational Attainment in US and Peer Regions

Bachelor’s Degree Fields

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 47 percent of the bachelor’s degrees held by residents of our Region are in the Science and Engineering field. When combined with Science and Engineering related fields, the percentage jumps to 54 percent.

Field of Bachelors Degrees Region

Businesses by Industry

Data from the U.S. BLS show that since 2006, the number of business establishments in the Region has increased by nearly 11 percent. There were 7,561 establishments in 2016, more than the highest pre-recession annual average of 6,879 in 2007. Service-providing industries have the most establishments, 80 percent, with the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry making up most of businesses.

Number of Businesses by Industry in Region

Employer Size

Large employers in the Region, those with 250 or more employees, make up half of one percent of all employers. However, these large employers provide 44 percent of the jobs in the Region. The smallest employers, those with fewer than 20 employees, represent 87 percent of all employers and provide almost 30 percent of the jobs in the Region.

2015 Total Employers and Jobs by Employment Size in Region

Top 10 Employers by Number of Jobs

Employer Employees (Jobs)
Oregon State University 11,813
Samaritan Health Services Corvallis (formally Good Samaritan Hospital) 3,074
Samaritan Health Services Linn Co 1.600
Hewlett Packard 1,500
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians 1,121
Linn Benton Community College 1,100
Greater Albany Public Schools 1,080
Wah Chang 949
Samaritan Health Services Lincoln Co 800
Target Distribution Center 631


  • Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp, 2014
  • Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County
  • City of Corvallis, Oregon, 2016

Regional Industry Employment

Middle-wage jobs in Oregon and nationally have grown slower than high- and low-wage jobs since 1980. However, middle-wage jobs have shown strong growth in the Region since 2014.

Source: Oregon Employment Department, 2016

Wages in the Region

Projections 2014 - 2024

Health care should add the most jobs in the Region over the next several years – its pace of growth driven by demographics. Construction growth will continue due to high demand and low inventory, but may lessen its pace over this period. The slowest-growing industries include Information and most components of Government.

Information from the Oregon Employment Office, Workforce and Economic Research

Workforce Projections 2024

Residential building permits are issued before a building project can begin. They’re a leading indicator of anticipated construction and new housing supply. Residential building permits in the Region averaged around 1,160 per year between 1990 and 2016. The number of building permits regionally peaked at 1,975 in 2005, fell to 425 by 2011, and has returned to 767 in 2016 (88% single family, 12% multi-family). The recent stabilization in trends contributes to the anticipation that the Construction sector in employment will remain relatively strong in the next few years.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Oregon Employment Office.

Residential Building Permits in the Region 1990–2015