Hood River County Employment Falls by 9% in 2020

by Dallas Fridley

March 17, 2021

Hood River County enjoyed steady growth for much of the 2010-2020 decade. Nonfarm employment rose by 1,480 jobs or 12% over the first nine years of the decade to reach a new peak of 12,130 in 2019. But the impacts of COVID-19 cost Hood River County 1,060 jobs in 2020, resulting in a one-year loss of 9%. 2020’s COVID impacts essentially lowered Hood River County’s job growth over the 2010-2020 decade by 72%, leaving a net increase of just 420 jobs or 4%.
Private industry lost nearly 1,000 jobs in 2020, falling to 9,760 (-9%). COVID losses in 2020 cut Hood River County’s growth over the 2010-2020 decade by two-thirds, leaving an increase of roughly 500 jobs (6%).

COVID impacts in food services and drinking places idled 310 jobs in 2020, dropping the industry’s total by 24% to average 970. Prior to COVID, the industry rose by 340 jobs or 36% between 2010 and 2019 to reach 1,280. Food services and drinking places eked out a net gain of 30 jobs over the 2010-2020 decade, shedding 91% of its growth over the prior nine years (2010-2019).

Manufacturing led private industry growth from 2010 to 2019, rising by 620 jobs or 51%. COVID losses in 2020 cost manufacturing 170 jobs, dropping its total to 1,670 and surrendering 27% of its growth over the prior nine years. Despite the 2020 loss, manufacturing still performed well over the 2010-2020 decade, rising by 450 jobs (+37%).

Retail trade cut 70 jobs in 2020, falling to 1,420 jobs, a loss of 5%. Over 2010-2019, retail trade rose by 240 jobs or 16%, with COVID losses in 2020 cutting its growth over the decade to 170 jobs or 14%.

Professional and business services reached 1,170 jobs in 2018, following four years of solid growth. The industry pulled back in 2019, cutting 60 jobs, and then again in 2020 with a loss of 80. Professional and business services still performed pretty well over the decade, rising by 180 jobs or 21%.

Mining, logging, and construction held steady in 2020 with 510 jobs, the industry’s peak came two years earlier in 2018 when it averaged 520. Over the 2010-2020 decade, mining, logging, and construction rose by 160 jobs or 46%.

Other services reached a new peak, averaging 420 jobs in 2019. Despite the loss of 20 jobs in 2020, the industry still rose by 130 or 48% over the 2010-2020 decade.

Arts, entertainment, and recreation lost 110 jobs in 2020, falling to 540 (-17%). Over the 2010-2020 decade the industry’s employment fell by 30 jobs or 5%.
Accommodation reached a peak of 450 jobs in 2019, rising by 90 jobs between 2010 and 2019, an increase of 20%. COVID losses in 2020 cost the accommodation industry 100 jobs (-22%), dropping its average to 350 and erasing a decade of growth.

Education and health services lost 460 jobs between 2010 and 2019 thanks, in part, to a non-economic code change. The code shift in 2015 dropped the industry’s average to 1,500 jobs. Education and health services rose by 290 jobs over the next four years to average 1,790 in 2019. In 2020 the industry cut 50 jobs, a one-year loss of 3%.

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities lost 50 jobs in 2020, falling to 160, down 24%. The industry experienced very little growth from 2010 to 2019, falling from a peak of 240 jobs in 2016.

On the public industry side, local government education cut 50 jobs in 2020 to average 590 (-8%). Over the 2010-2020 decade, local government education cut 70 jobs. Other local government lost 20 jobs in 2020, falling to 470, down 4% over the year. Other local government experienced a small gain of 20 jobs over the decade, rising by 4%.


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