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Some surprises among latest OR tech industry report

State of Oregon Tech Report

For several years now TAO has partnered with eImpact on a “State of the Oregon Tech Industry” report. Each report has shown key metrics on an annualized basis such as the number of people employed in the industry, new companies formed, average salaries, number of companies etc.

Not surprisingly, the number of tech industry jobs, the average earnings per job, and the number of firms has been increasing year over year. These trend lines have been up and to the right for decades now.

And while there have been some dips in certain years, the total investment in Oregon tech startups has also increased overall during that same period. As the average earnings per tech job has increased, so too has the number of other kinds of jobs that are supported by tech workers in Oregon.

Not everything is moving up and to the right when it comes to the tech industry. One area where the Oregon tech industry has lagged is diversification of its workforce. This has been widely reported in recent years and should come as no surprise to someone reading this article.

More public data and private data is available than ever before, and eImpact has stayed ahead of these trends, incorporating more data sources into their platform. Consequently, we are now able to show diversity in tech employment by race and occupation code, broken out by county throughout Oregon. As for technical jobs, the hardware industry in Oregon is far more diverse than other tech industry subsectors.

And the most diverse county in terms of tech professionals per capita? It’s not Washington, Multnomah or Clackamas; it’s Malheur. This year we are able to establish a base metric for diversification across occupations and counties, and we will continue to track progress across these two metrics in future years.

Technology sector jobs are not just proliferating geographically in Oregon, they are also expanding across industries. Aside from “pure tech firms,” a close second in terms of the number of tech professionals employed in Oregon is the manufacturing sector, followed by the public sector. Sectors including finance and insurance, waste management and remediation, wholesale trade, health care, management of companies and enterprises and “other” account for over a quarter of all other tech jobs in Oregon.

We also added a new infographic that compares job postings and candidate profiles by skill, illuminating those where supply versus demand mismatches exist. If you work in education or workforce, the biggest gaps between industry demand and the supply of talent with those available skills include: Agile Methodology, Python (a programming language), Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Automation, Scalability, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and DevOps.

Another addition to this year’s report shows tech occupation earnings by MSA for Portland, Bend and Eugene, respectively. While the Portland region boasts the highest salaries for the majority of tech occupations, in some cases Bend and/or Eugene are more competitive.

And finally, a caveat on the Oregon tech industry’s growth: Since we have been tracking this data, the total number of tech jobs has increased at a much faster rate in Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Utah than it has in Oregon. Oregon is now barely ahead of Utah in terms of total tech jobs.


This is part of a regular guest column written by the Technology Association of Oregon in the Portland Business Journal.

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