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Oregon Lost Manufacturing Jobs For The First Time In Six Years


Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, February 22nd, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Following a steady increase in manufacturing jobs, Oregon factory employment posted its first decline in six years, according to manufacturing data collected by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), a publisher of industrial databases and directories for all fifty states. According to MNI, Oregon lost 1,082 industrial jobs between December 2015 and December 2016, a half percent loss.

Oregon’s 5,606 manufacturers employ 228,737 in the state, reports MNI. Between 2011 and 2015, the state added 14,383 industrial jobs, or nearly 7%, recovering 60% of losses suffered during the recession.

Oregon’s industrial sector thrived following the recession, adding thousands of jobs as the state established a strong foothold in high-tech and electronics manufacturing, but those jobs leveled off over the past year,” Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, its abundant natural resources and strong local economy have been a draw for many manufacturers, fostering continued growth in food processing and many other sectors.”

Jobs in electronics manufacturing accounted for 20% of the state’s post-recession gains, but 2016’s survey marks the first time employment in that sector did not post an increase, holding steady at 31,887 workers.

MNI reports Oregon employment losses were led by the lumber/wood processing sector, which dropped by 3%. Lumber/wood accounts for 12% of Oregon’s industrial jobs, employing 27,622.

Other Oregon manufacturing sectors shedding jobs included printing/publishing, down 4.1%; paper products, down 4%; medical instruments/related products, down 3.7%; and industrial machinery, down 2.9%.

Oregon industrial businesses announcing closures included Bushwacker, Inc., which shuttered its Portland auto parts plant; medical device company Electrochem Solutions, which moved its Beaverton operations to Mexico; RR Donnelley, which closed its Gresham facility; and SP Fiber Technologies’ Newburg paper mill.

These losses were offset, however, by a significant gain in the food processing sector, which rose by 4%. Food processing remains Oregon’s top industrial sector by employment, with 36,126 workers.

The chemical processing industry also added jobs, up 3.6%, as did rubber/plastics, up 2.4%.

Oregon’s industrial sector saw a few positive announcements over the year, with Chaucer Foods breaking ground on a new freeze dried fruit plan in Forest Grove; Agrinos’ announcement of its plans to open an agricultural microbial products facility in Clackamas; and the establishment of Portland Cider Co., also in Clackamas.

MNI’s regional analysis finds Southeast Oregon suffered the largest percentage decrease, down 5.3% to 8,334. Manufacturing jobs in Southwest Oregon fell 1.7% to 41,475, and declined a half percent in the state’s Northwest region to 170,810 jobs. Northeast Oregon, however, posted a significant gain, up 10% to 8,118 manufacturing jobs.

City data collected by MNI shows Portland remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 50,912 jobs, up 1% over the past year. Employment in second-ranked Hillsboro increased a half percent to 25,157 jobs, and declined 3.6% in third-ranked Beaverton to 18,103 workers. Industrial jobs in Eugene fell 1.6% to 11,954 workers, and decreased 3% in Salem to 8,597.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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