Eastern Oregon Has High Percentage of Small Businesses

by Tony Wendel

September 11, 2023

Eastern Oregon, comprising Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties, has a lot of small businesses. This is fairly typical of rural areas. There were about 5,870 private-sector firms within the Eastern Oregon area in the first quarter of 2023. Seven out of 10 firms in the area have four employees or less (4,105 firms) and only 2.6% (151 firms) have 50 or more employees.
Graph showing About 93% of Eastern Oregon Private Firms Have Less Than 20 Employees

Even though there is such a high percentage of small businesses within Eastern Oregon, about 59% of the area’s approximately 60,600 private jobs are in larger firms with 50 or more employees. About one-quarter of jobs are in companies with 10 to 49 employees, while about 17% are in businesses with nine or fewer employees.

Graph showing About 59% of Eastern Oregon's Private Employment Comes from Larger Employers (50+ employees)


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