Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Oregon Employment Department expects growth over next decade

November 4, 2021 at 5:16pm

Following federal announcement, Oregon has 30 days to issue vaccine mandate rules for private businesses

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced workers at many private companies have until Jan. 4 to get vaccinated against Covid under federal workplace safety rules - but Oregon workers won't be affected just yet.

That's because Oregon is one of 22 states with its own workplace safety agency, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will craft its own rule on vaccine mandates.

Aaron Corvin, spokesperson for Oregon OSHA, said the agency has 30 days after the federal rule is published to craft guidance for workplaces in Oregon. Federal regulations require Oregon adopt a rule that is "at least as effective" at protecting workers.

"However, that does not mean our rule needs to be identical to the federal one," Corvin said in an email. The agency's 30-day clock to issue a rule begins Friday.

The federal regulation applies to private businesses with 100 or more employees and mandates those employers to require vaccination against Covid or regular testing for the virus.

Corvin said it's too early to say what Oregon's rule might look like, but any rule mandating vaccination or testing would apply to both public and private employers. That means city and county governments would likely have to mandate vaccination or testing, not just private businesses.

-Rachel Alexander

November 4, 2021 at 3:12pm

Polk County Fairgrounds to host holiday fair Friday, Saturday

The Christmas tree at the Oregon State Capitol in 2019. (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Polk County is hosting its annual 4-H holiday fair Friday and Saturday.

The event, in its 58th year, usually attracts more than 3,000 people to the Polk County Fairgrounds located at 520 S Pacific Hwy W. in Rickreall.

Peruse wooden toys, up-cycled furniture, Christmas and home decor, stuffed animals, handmade dolls, dried & fresh flower arrangements, ceramics, greeting cards and more from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Admission to the fair is free, but donations are accepted. Proceeds of the event are used to support the Polk County 4-H program. 

-Saphara Harrell

November 4, 2021 at 12:10pm

Oregon jobs projected to grow 16% from 2020 to 2030

The Oregon Employment Department expects jobs in the state will grow by 16% between 2020 and 2030.

The department projected Oregon’s total employment to gain 317,600 jobs in that timeframe, a Thursday news release said.

That’s because the department anticipates historically high job growth over the next decade as the state recovers from low employment and the recession in 2020 brought on by the Covid pandemic.

“In addition, many job openings are expected due to the need to replace workers who leave their occupations,” the news release said.

There were 1,998,400 jobs in Oregon in 2020. The projected increase will include 283,500 jobs in private sector industries, 25,700 government jobs and 8,300 self-employed jobs.

By 2030, the department also expects 2,197,200 job openings to replace workers who retire or change jobs.

It projected all sectors will add jobs by 2030 in Oregon, with leisure and hospitality growing the fastest and adding the most jobs at 73,800. That’s a 46% growth from 2020 largely due to economic recovery from Covid. “Restaurants, hotels, and arts, cultural, and recreational establishments are expected to see increased demand as in-person and recreational activities resume,” the news release said.

The department expects the second-largest number of jobs added to be in private health care and social assistance, growing 19% by adding 51,000 jobs, due to the state’s population growing in both numbers and age.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian