Eastern Oregon’s Personal Income Grew by $1.85 Billion from 2007 to 2016

by Tony Wendel

May 4, 2018

Eastern Oregon (Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa counties) had a total personal income of about $6.66 billion in 2016, up from $4.81 billion in 2007, a growth rate of 38 percent. Wallowa County had the highest rate of personal income growth in the area (48%), followed by Harney (45%), Umatilla (42%), Grant (41%), Baker (40%), Morrow (38%), Malheur (32%), and Union (29%). Eastern Oregon’s rate of growth was below Oregon’s statewide growth of 39 percent.

Umatilla County had the highest nominal growth in personal income within Eastern Oregon (up $854 million) since 2007, followed by Malheur ($220 million), Union ($213 million), Baker ($168 million), Morrow ($130 million), Wallowa ($98 million), Harney ($86 million), and Grant ($81 million) counties.
Net earnings made up 54 percent of Eastern Oregon’s total personal income in 2016, while transfer receipts made up 28 percent and dividends, interest, and rent accounted for the remaining 18 percent. This is a significant change from 10 years ago, when net earnings made up 60 percent of the area’s personal income and transfer receipts made up only 22 percent. Dividends, interest, and rent was relatively close at 17 percent.

Morrow and Umatilla County residents had a higher percentage of their total personal income from net earnings, at 66 percent and 59 percent, respectively, while Union (51%), Harney (51%), Grant (48%), Wallowa (46%), Malheur (46%), and Baker (43%) all have much lower shares.
Income from transfer receipts has increased significantly statewide (79%) from about $20.4 billion in 2007 to about $36.6 billion in 2016 and within Eastern Oregon (73%) from about $1.1 billion to about $1.9 billion over the same time period. 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 44 percent from 2007 to 2016 to $1.2 billion. This was above the growth rate statewide of 35 percent.


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