Covered Employment and Wages in Linn County: 2017

by Pat O'Connor

August 2, 2018

Employer payroll tax records include workers who are covered by unemployment insurance. Information from those records can be analyzed to provide detailed information about employment and wages by industry.

In 2017, total covered employment for Linn County was 45,948; up nearly 1,000 jobs from 44,975 in 2016. The annual average wage in the county was $41,556 in 2017, less than the statewide average of $51,117.
Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Linn County’s average wage ranked 11th highest. The county’s average annual wage has struggled to keep up with the statewide average over the past 35 years. In the 1970s and into the 1980s, Linn County’s average wage was higher than the state’s average. The biggest reason the county’s average wage has not been keeping up with the statewide average has been due to the loss of high paying jobs within the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing comprises a smaller share of Linn County’s economy today than it did in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1976, the county’s average wage was about 5.5 percent higher than the statewide average. By 2000, the statewide average wage was 15 percent higher than Linn County’s. The wage gap between the county and the state has continued to grow, particularly since the recession that began in 2008. In 2017, the statewide average wage was 23 percent higher than Linn County’s average.

Employment Gains and Losses in 2017

Linn County gained nearly 1,000 jobs from 2016 to 2017. Gains of more than 900 in the private sector accounted for the majority of the growth, while the public sector grew slower, adding only 69 jobs. Employment gains and losses varied significantly by industry.
Trade, transportation, and utilities (+351 jobs) added the most jobs during 2017 and it was the fourth fastest-growing industry, growing 3.8 percent. Information showed the most rapid growth in the county, growing 15 percent and adding roughly 50 jobs in Linn County. Construction showed rapid growth in 2017, growing nearly 11 percent and adding nearly 270 jobs. Manufacturing added nearly 300 jobs in 2017, growing 3.8 percent. Manufacturing is the county’s sector with the highest average wages, with an annual average wage of more than $57,959 in 2017. 

Professional and business services; natural resources and mining; and other services were the three major sectors in Linn County that showed employment losses in 2017, but they were fairly minor. Between the three sectors, they shed less than 200 jobs in 2017.

The public sector as a whole showed a little less than 1 percent employment growth from 2016 to 2017, adding 69 jobs. However, employment varied when looking at a finer level of detail. Federal government employment and state government employment were both essentially flat in 2017. Local government in Linn County added 73 jobs in 2017 to grow 1.3 percent. The average wage in the county’s public sector is slightly higher than the private sector average wage in the region.

For more detailed industry employment and payroll data go to, under “Economic Data” select “Employment and Wages by Industry”. Covered employment and payroll data is available for Oregon’s counties from 2001 to the present.


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