Oregon’s software publishers produce software for banking, payroll, human resources, casinos, computer games and operating systems, to name just a few examples. In the late ’90s, software publishers experienced rapid employment growth while paying wages significantly higher than those of other industries. Then came the 2001-2003 recession and employment quickly declined. But growth resumed during the past two years. As of June 2006, the industry had 7,700 employees — 400 more than in June 2005, not including self-employed workers. However, the industry remains almost 2,000 jobs below the pre-recession peak. Like high-tech manufacturing, software publishing is concentrated in Oregon’s metropolitan areas. In 2005, seven counties contained 94% of the state’s software publishing employment, with Washington County dominating, and 10 counties, predominately in Eastern Oregon, reported no jobs in the industry. Software publishing appears to have a promising future with employment projected to grow 22.7% from 2004 to 2014, well above the statewide projected job growth rate of 15%.
— Mary Lee Wright, workforce analyst
Oregon Employment Department
|Software publishing geographic profile and average payroll, 2005|