Coastal Douglas County’s Employment Base Differs from the Rest of the County

by Annette Shelton-Tiderman

December 6, 2018

Coastal Douglas County’s communities of Reedsport, Winchester Bay, and surrounding unincorporated areas west of Scottsburg, do not have the same employment base as the rest of Douglas County. Although this small area accounts for approximately 4 percent of the county’s overall employment, it’s an integral part of the region’s coastal economy. The following graphs show the distribution of employment for these two areas; for this analysis, county employment excludes the coast.
Some industries play a more prominent role on the coast than for the county as a whole. Health care and social assistance is the primary source of coastal employment – reflecting, in part, the presence of Reedsport’s public health district. Professional and business services ranks second on the coast and accounts for 15 percent of employment, quite a bit more than the county’s professional and business services 10 percent employment footprint. Recreational interests associated with coastal leisure and hospitality provide 15 percent of the local employment. Countywide, leisure and hospitality ranks fourth with 11 percent of overall employment.
The location of I-5 running north-south through Douglas County and the associated transportation, retail and wholesale trade businesses contribute to the jobs offered by the county’s top ranking employment sector, trade, transportation, and utilities. The county also has more employment in manufacturing, 13 percent as compared with the coastal area’s 10 percent.  Although many of the smaller business sectors are close on a percentage basis, notable differences are found in the coast’s smaller employment in public administration – half that of the county.

Looking at local employment patterns may help employers and community planners better understand their strengths and areas of potential opportunity. Transportation routes play a role in not only the transportation and warehousing arena, but also in manufacturing – getting raw materials to manufacturers and finished products to market. As plans and funding for port-related maintenance work move forward, it is reasonable to look for expanding employment opportunities along the coast.


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