1 opening for every 6 job seekers in Lane County

1 opening for every 6 job seekers in Lane County

EUGENE, Ore. - Getting a job in Lane County isn't impossible, but experts at the Employment Department won't lie: it isn't easy.    
Right now, the amount of employment that we're seeing, while it's positive, it's not very much," said Will Summers, a state workforce analyst. "I mean it's really slow."     

In January and February, only 1,600 new jobs were created in Lane County. Summers said that is about one opening for every six job seekers.
Lane County's top industry for jobs is health care - and PeaceHealth, Lane County's largest employer, is hiring.

"Health care is on the top of the list because we have a growing and aging population," said Brian Rooney, the Employment Department's regional economist.   

The demand for doctors, nurses and other health care workers remains consistent. PeaceHealth employs more than 6,300 people.

"It's a major economic impact," said Craig Mills, vice president of culture and people at PeaceHealth. "Our annual payroll is about $250 million dollars, and I'm sure that makes a big difference to the community."

A close second on the top industries list: state education.  

"Our numbers have grown because our number of students have grown," Christine Lonagin, University of Oregon employment manager. "Now we have 23,400, we have our largest student body ever, and as we get more students, it takes more employees."

The UO is the largest education employer in Lane County with just over 4,030 employees. UO currently has 122 openings.   

Another major industry: tourism.

"It's the I-5 corridor and a halfway point between Seattle and San Francisco for people that are vacationing, so it's a logical destination," said George Russel, general manager of Valley River Inn. The Inn employs 247 people and currently has 7 openings.