The following is an article from the Statesman Journal offering a look into what happened to former RV workers in Oregon when the industry crashed and left thousands unemployed. To read the entire article click here.
One of the casualties of the “Great Recession” in Oregon was the recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturing industry. After growing through the 1990s and into the 2000s, RV manufacturing in Oregon peaked at 7,699 jobs in March 2005. A little more than half (53%) of that employment was in Lane County, with the rest spread out across the state.
For the next three years following the peak, the industry was relatively stable, staying between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs. During the following severe national recession that lasted from late 2007 to late 2009, RV manufacturing was hit hard as credit dried up, investment returns declined, and jobs were lost. The result was a drop in demand for many products including RVs. RV manufacturing employment dropped to 1,610 by April 2009, a loss of 79% from its peak.
We know from the industry data that many relatively high-skilled and high-paying jobs were lost. But what happened to the workers in the RV manufacturing industry as a result of the recession? Were they able to regain employment in the industry? Were they able to transition to other industries? Did their earnings decline or grow?
To read the entire article click here.