Columbia County made the biggest cuts, shedding nearly 200 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce. It is followed by Tillamook, Lincoln and then Clatsop in order of the number of jobs lost.
Most of the cuts came from school districts. Clatsop County schools trimmed 68 jobs, Columbia County schools shed 161, Lincoln County schools lost 105, and Tillamook County schools cut 110 over the two-year period.
The four counties now differ more in their ratios of education employees to youth population. Clatsop and Tillamook counties each have about 6.1 youth ages 5 to 19 per employee in local government education. Columbia County has 8.8 youth per education employee and Lincoln County has 9.8 youth per education employee. Lincoln County has a single school district that covers the entire county, whereas the other counties have multiple school districts. This may give Lincoln County an efficiency-of-scale advantage. Also, Clatsop County has a larger community college than either Lincoln County or Tillamook County. (Note: The ratios use second quarter 2012 employment data and 2011 population estimates so they cover different time periods, but these are the most recent data available.)
Reductions in local government employment are often due to reductions in fees, property-tax revenue or the loss of funding from state or federal government. The dramatic drop in construction since the onset of the Great Recession undercut the development fees that local governments receive and the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding dried up some money for local schools.