Workforce, Jobs, and Industries

updated 2021

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.

2019 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 $39,478. 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 ($66,533), which accounts for 15 percent of the jobs in the Region (almost double the 7.5% rate from 2014).

Educational Attainment

For 2019, at 18.5% our Region is slightly lower than the State (20.8%) and national average (19.8%) for the percentage of the population age 25 and older that has a bachelor’s degree. Visit Migration to see additional information about educational attainment in our Region.

Our Region is estimated to have a high proportion of adults, over 37 percent, with some college or an Associate degree, when compared with the national average (29%).

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 55 percent.

Field of Bachelors Degrees Region

Businesses by Industry

Data from the U.S. BLS show that since 2010, the number of business establishments in the Region has increased by nearly 16 percent. There were 8,027 establishments in 2019, 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 45 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 26 percent of the jobs in the Region.

2019 Total Employers and Jobs by Employment Size in Region

Top 10 Employers by Number of Jobs

Employer Employees (Jobs)
Oregon State University 12,068
Samaritan Health Services Corvallis (formally Good Samaritan Hospital) 2,966
Samaritan Health Services Linn Co 2,527
ATI 1,300
Hewlett Packard 1,250
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians 1,121
Greater Albany Public Schools 1,035
Linn Benton Community College 974
Samaritan Health Services Lincoln Co 800
Linn County 690


  • Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp, 2019
  • Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County, 2014
  • City of Corvallis, Oregon, 2017

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 2019 - 2029

Based on State projections, Health Care should add the most jobs in the Region over the next several years – its pace of growth largely driven by an aging population. In fact, seven of the top 10 fastest-growing specific occupations in the Linn and Benton County area with more than 50 openings are in health care (see chart).  Construction growth will continue due to high demand and low inventory. The slowest-growing industries include Manufacturing and Financial activities.

Workforce Projections 2019 to 2029
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 1,100 per year between 2000 and 2019. The number of building permits regionally peaked at 1,954 in 2005, fell to 385 by 2011, and has gradually rebounded the past decade (88% single family, 12% multi-family). It is anticipated that the Construction sector in employment will remain relatively strong in the next few post-pandemic years.
Residential Building Permits in the Region 1990–2015