PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Since 2021, the U.S. has been working its way through The Great Resignation, where many workers have left their jobs in search of better options. Oregon is no exception. 

While rebounding after the pandemic, Oregon has seen unemployment drop to near record-low levels and the latest employment report for July shows another tick down in job openings. 

“The labor market is tight, and many people have gotten back to work. Over the past two years, Oregon’s labor force participation rate rose rapidly. The share of the population 16 and older that is either employed or unemployed reached 63.5% in July, its highest rate in a decade,” state economist Gail Kremenauer wrote in a news release Wednesday. 

However, just because Oregonians are working, doesn’t mean they’re working the same job they had a year or two years ago. 

In a recent survey, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found that 28% of respondents had quit a job over the last two years. 

The most common reason for resignation, Oregonians said, is that they felt disrespected, 43%, and underpaid, 41%. Other top reasons include no opportunity for advancement; working too many hours; not enough flexibility to choose when they put in their hours; benefits that weren’t good; and working too few hours. 

Compared to a Pew survey of all Americans from February 2022, Oregonians are more likely than other Americans to quit over low pay and less likely to quit their jobs due to dissatisfaction with benefits. 

The OVBC survey found that 65% of the people who responded said they had worked for pay over the past two years, but most people experienced some sort of job-related change in their life during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Most people, 20% said their same job changed from all in-person to some or all work remote. According to the survey, 18% went on unemployment for a while. 

The survey found that men are more likely than women to say nothing has changed in their workplace as a result of the pandemic, 44% compared to 31%. It also revealed that workers with higher annual incomes have experienced fewer pandemic-related changes than those making less than $50,000 per year. 

When asked what their ideal work situation for paid employment is, most Oregonians, 41%, said they’d like a flexible combination of working both from home and the office. The second most popular choice was to always work from home. 

Nearly half of the Oregon residents surveyed said the option to work from home would determine whether they accepted a job. This is true more so for women than for men, 49% compared to 38%. 
The Oregon Values and Beliefs Center surveyed 1,572 people about their employment over the past two years. All participants were 18 or older and the survey took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Respondents were contacted by using professionally maintained online panels. An extended explanation of survey results is available on the OVBC website.