SUMMER IS THE PEAK SEASON for most tourist activities in Oregon. With the return of school, cooler temperatures and clouds, jobs decline in tourism-related industries. For example, employment in accommodation such as hotels and motels tops 24,000 during the summer and pulls back to about 19,000 in the winter. Between the two, fall is a “shoulder season” with several holidays and a bounty of festivals and events — many listed in the traveloregon.com “upcoming events” calendar — that can help prolong tourism’s summer job counts. One example is in Jackson County, where performing arts and accommodation industries maintain high employment levels in September and October. Multnomah County experiences similar trends. The growing share of households without children — now up to 68% of Oregon households and likely to rise further — may help fall tourism narrow the gap with annual average employment once again as more people not tied to a school calendar are able to take advantage of mild weather and off-peak rates.
ART AYRE, STATE EMPLOYMENT ECONOMIST
WORKSOURCE OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPT., WWW.QUALITYINFO.ORG