Eastern Oregon’s Personal Income Grew by $1.8 Billion from 2005 to 2014

Eastern Oregon’s Personal Income Grew by $1.8 Billion from 2005 to 2014

by Tony Wendel

July 11, 2016

Eastern Oregon (Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties) had a total personal income of about $6.2 billion in 2014, up from $4.4 billion in 2005, a growth rate of 41 percent. Morrow County had the highest rate of personal income growth in the area (58%), followed by Wallowa (45%), Umatilla (44%), Harney (40%), Baker (39%), Grant (38%), Union (34%), and Malheur (33%). Eastern Oregon's rate of growth was above Oregon's statewide growth of 40 percent.

Umatilla County had the largest nominal growth in personal income within Eastern Oregon (up $809 million) since 2005, followed by Union ($225 million), Malheur ($207 million), Morrow ($173 million), Baker ($151 million), Wallowa ($88 million), Harney ($73 million), and Grant ($72 million) counties.

Net earnings made up 55 percent of Eastern Oregon's total personal income in 2014, while transfer receipts made up 28 percent and dividends, interest, and rent accounted for the remaining 17 percent. This is a significant change from 10 years ago, when net earnings made up 62 percent of the area's personal income and transfer receipts made up only 21 percent. Dividends, interest, and rent remained unchanged at 17 percent.

Morrow and Umatilla County residents had a higher percentage of their total personal income from net earnings, at 69 percent and 60 percent respectively, while Union (52%), Harney (51%), Grant (49%), Wallowa (48%), Malheur (46%), and Baker (43%) all have much lower shares.

Income from transfer receipts has increased significantly statewide (89%) and within Eastern Oregon (85%). This income includes but is not limited to government payments to individuals like Medicare and Medicaid, unemployment insurance compensation, veterans' benefits, and Federal grants and loans to students.

Income from dividends, interest, and rent within the area increased by 46 percent from 2005 to 2014 to $1 billion. This was above the statewide growth rate of 42 percent.