Hood River County’s 10-year Growth Rate at 13 Percent On Strength of 2016 and 2017 Job Gains

by Dallas Fridley

March 13, 2018

Hood River County’s nonfarm employment rose by 1,340 jobs or 13 percent from 2007 to 2017 to average 11,540. 2016 and 2017 were particularly strong years, producing a two-year increase of 860 jobs (+8%).

Private industry provided all of Hood River County’s job growth, rising by 1,350 jobs from 2007 to 2017, an increase of 15 percent. In 2016 and 2017, private industry rose by 810 jobs or 9 percent.

Manufacturing led private industry growth from 2007 to 2017, rising by 450, with the lion’s share or 360 jobs arriving from 2007 to 2015 plus an additional 80 over the past two years. Manufacturing growth represented one out of three private industry jobs gained since 2007, rising by 35 percent to average 1,740.
Professional and business services also impressed, with a 10-year gain of 390 or 56 percent to average 1,090 jobs in 2017. The industry experienced particularly strong growth over the past two years, rising by 160 jobs or 17 percent.

Food services and drinking places ranked third for its 270-job or 28 percent increase. The industry averaged 1,240 jobs in 2017 with an increase of 90 jobs (+8%) over the past two years.

Arts, entertainment, and recreation produced mixed results, falling by 40 jobs from 2007 to 2015 but adding back 160 between 2015 and 2017; resulting in a 10-year increase of 120 jobs (+22%). The industry averaged 660 jobs in 2017, setting a new peak for employment which reflected growth and early-season snowfall.

Several industries produced job growth over the past two years while falling short from 2007 to 2017. Education and health services lost 180 jobs from 2007 to 2015 thanks in part to a non-economic code change. Growth returned to education and health services from 2015 to 2017, with the industry rising by 80 jobs or 5 percent to average 1,540. Mining, logging, and construction lost 50 jobs from 2007 to 2015. It’s had a strong growth trend over the past two years, producing an increase of 80 jobs or 21 percent to lift mining, logging, and construction to 460 jobs in 2017. Wholesale trade contracted over the long term and over the short term, falling by 90 jobs to average 430 in 2017.

On the public industry side, local government education produced a mixed bag, falling by 60 jobs over the past 10 years despite an increase of 20 jobs (+3%) in the past two years.

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