Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Broad-Based Gains Boost Jackson County Manufacturing Employment
by Guy Tauer
Published Jul-23-2012

Manufacturing in Jackson County comprises just over 8 percent of total covered employment. In 2011, manufacturing's payroll was $252.8 million, or 9.6 percent of the county's total payroll.

Preliminary May 2012 employment estimates from the monthly survey of businesses conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Jackson County manufacturing employment added 180 jobs over the year. This job growth rate of 2.9 percent compares with a 1.7 percent increase for all industries. Even brighter news can be found by analyzing the most recent employment data from quarterly unemployment insurance tax records for the first quarter of 2012. These data show that Jackson County manufacturing employment increased by 462 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012. Oregon statewide manufacturing employment rose by 3,047 over the same time. Although Jackson County is home to about 3.5 percent of the state's manufacturing jobs, from March 2011 to March 2012, Jackson County accounted for about 15 percent of the state's total manufacturing job gains.

From March 2011 to March 2012, wood products gained more than one-half of the total manufacturing increase, up by about 260 jobs. Food and beverage products also added to employment totals, up by 90 and 72 jobs, respectively. Others showing gains included machinery (+64); fabricated metal products (+25); printing and related support activities (+20); and furniture, and computer and electronic products (+18 each). Industries losing jobs were transportation equipment (-98) and chemical manufacturing (-23).

While the monthly survey of businesses provides the most up to date employment estimates, data from employers' quarterly unemployment insurance tax records gives a more detailed picture of trends within broader industry categories. These more detailed data show that the manufacturing recovery in Jackson County may be even stronger than monthly estimates are showing - with gains across many industries.

Table 1
Jackson County Manufacturing Industry Payroll Employment 
Fourth Quarter 2011
Industry Percent of Total
Wood product manufacturing    22.7%
Food manufacturing      17.8%
Transportation equipment manufacturing          12.4%
Chemical manufacturing   7.7%
Printing and related support activities       7.0%
Miscellaneous manufacturing                 5.5%
Fabricated metal product manufacturing            5.4%
Computer and electronic product manufacturing          5.1%
Machinery manufacturing                                 4.6%
Furniture and related product manufacturing       2.6%
Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing    2.4%
Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing      2.4%
Apparel manufacturing     1.4%
Textile product mills   0.7%
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing    0.3%