Columbia Basin Industry Employment Projections, 2019-2029

by Dallas Fridley

November 24, 2020

The two-county Columbia Basin area (Morrow and Umatilla) is expected to add 3,010 jobs from 2019 to 2029, with total employment rising to 44,620. The 10-year projection pegs growth in the Columbia Basin area at 7 percent, below Oregon’s 9 percent increase.

Employment in the Columbia Basin totaled 41,610 in the 2019 base year. Private industry employment represented about 73 percent or 30,180 jobs. Self-employment represented 4 percent or 1,790 jobs and government held about 23 percent or 9,640 jobs.

Within private industry, educational and health services is expected to add the most jobs, rising by 560 or 14 percent in 10 years to average 4,600 in 2029. Natural resources and mining will grow by 490 jobs, rising to 5,840, an increase of 9 percent. Trade, transportation, and utilities (+360); manufacturing (+270); leisure and hospitality (+220); information (+170); professional and business services (+80); other services (+70); and financial activities (+10) are all projected to add jobs over the period from 2019 to 2029.
Government is expected to rise by 500 jobs from 2019 to 2029 to average 10,140. Local government will increase its total by 6 percent, rising to 8,040. State government is expected to rise by 30 jobs to 1,540, while federal government chips in 10, rising to 560. Self-employment is projected to rise by 130 jobs or about 7 percent to average 1,920 in 2029.
The Columbia Basin is one of two sub-areas, along with the Eastern Six, that make up Eastern Oregon. In addition to Morrow and Umatilla counties, Eastern Oregon includes Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Union, and Wallowa counties. Eastern Oregon is projected to add 5,200 jobs through 2029, rising to 86,400, an increase of 6 percent. The Eastern Six sub-area is expected to add 2,130 jobs over the 10-year period, rising to 41,750 jobs, an increase of 5 percent.
In addition to Eastern Oregon, industry employment projections are available for seven more areas in Oregon – along with another sub-area breakout for the East Cascades. Portland-Metro (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties) is expected to grow the fastest of the regions, rising by 11 percent from 2019 to 2029. Job growth is expected to be considerably slower for the five counties of Northwest Oregon (Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, and Tillamook), with projected employment rising by 6 percent over the 10-year period. Slow growth is also expected for the three counties that make up Southwestern Oregon (Coos, Curry, and Douglas).

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