Hood River County’s 10-year Growth Rate at 19 PercentMarch 5, 2020 Hood River County’s nonfarm employment rose by 1,970 jobs or 19 percent between 2009 and 2019 to average 12,080, a new peak. Over the short term, 2017 to 2019 produced a two-year increase of 520 jobs or 5 percent.
Private industry provided all of Hood River County’s job growth, rising by 2,010 jobs over 2009 to 2019 to reach 10,690, an increase of 22 percent. Private industry reached an all-time employment high in 2019, as did many private-sector industries. Over 2018 and 2019, private industry employment rose by 520 jobs or 5 percent.
Manufacturing led private industry growth from 2009 to 2019, rising by 610, with the lion’s share or 500 jobs arriving between 2009 and 2017, plus an additional 110 over the past two years. Manufacturing growth represented one out of four private industry jobs gained since 2009, rising by 46 percent to average 1,840, a new peak.
Food services and drinking places served up a 10-year gain of 360 jobs or 38 percent. The industry averaged 1,280 jobs in 2019, a one-year loss of 10 jobs, cutting its two-year 2017 to 2019 increase to 30.
Professional and business services also impressed, with a 10-year gain of 360 or 48 percent to average 1,110 jobs in 2019. Most of the industry’s new jobs arrived over 2009 to 2017, with just 10 jobs gained from 2017 to 2019. The industry’s peak came in 2018 at 1,170 jobs, with a one-year loss of 60 in 2019 (-5.9%).
Retail trade remains as one of Hood River County’s largest industries, with 1,480 jobs in 2019. The industry increased its total by 210 jobs over 2009 to 2019, rising by 16 percent. Its best year came in 2017, with a one-year increase of 90 jobs or 6.6 percent. Retail trade held its own in 2019, solidifying a moderate gain of 30 jobs in 2018.
Several industries produced job growth over the past two years while falling short over the 10-year period. Education and health services lost 260 jobs between 2009 and 2017, thanks in part to a coding change that did not reflect the underlying economic picture. Growth returned to education and health services over 2017 to 2019, with the industry adding 200 jobs in two years to average 1,750 in 2019 (+13%). It is important to note that state government lost 50 jobs between 2017 and 2019 with the reclassification of home care workers to education and health services.
On the public industry side, local government education produced a mixed bag, falling by 60 jobs from 2009 to 2017 with an increase of 30 jobs (+5%) in the past two years.