Hood River County’s 2018 Payroll Growth Led by Manufacturing, Construction, and Professional and Technical Services

by Dallas Fridley

April 29, 2019

Hood River County’s total all industries payroll grew by $48.4 million in 2018 to total $573.7 million, an increase of 9.2 percent. All industries employment rose by 3.3 percent or 450 jobs to total 14,240. Wages in Hood River County averaged $40,285, an increase of $2,195 or 5.8 percent over 2017.

Payrolls in Hood River County also rose rapidly in 2017, up by a slightly less impressive 8.7 percent. Looking back to the height of the housing bubble in 2008, payrolls in Hood River County rose by 10.1 percent, lending 2018’s gain some context; 9.2 percent growth will be difficult to match in 2019 or any year for that matter.
Oregon’s all industries average wage reached $53,058 in 2018, about $12,800 higher than Hood River County’s. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Hood River County’s average wage ranked in the middle of the pack, in 18th position, just behind Wasco County ($40,610) and just ahead of Umatilla County ($40,233). Only three counties, Clackamas ($53,242), Multnomah ($59,978), and Washington ($70,308) exceeded Oregon’s 2018 average wage. The annual wage gap for 25 of Oregon’s 36 counties exceeded $10,000 in 2018.

Hood River County’s private industry payroll rose by $47 million in 2018 to total $510.2 million, an increase of 10.1 percent. Private industry employment rose to 12,972 jobs in 2018, an increase of 472 or 3.8 percent.

Manufacturing led Hood River County in 2018 with a payroll gain of $10.3 million or 13.3 percent. Manufacturing’s payroll ranked as private industry’s second largest in 2018, with professional and business services’ $90.4 million leading Hood River County. Manufacturing employment rose by a demure 1.6 percent or 27 jobs in 2018. Wage growth proved to be exceptional, rising to an average of $50,037 in 2018, an increase of 11.5 percent or nearly $5,200.

Professional and technical services, which is part of the professional and business services group, produced a 2018 payroll gain of $9.9 million or 13.4 percent. Payrolls in professional and technical services, at $84.1 million, exceeded totals for education and health services ($80.7 million), natural resources and mining ($67 million), all government ownerships ($63.5 million), leisure and hospitality ($50.7 million), and retail trade ($39.8 million). Professional and technical services paid an average $87,656 in 2018, exceeding Hood River County’s all industries average wage by $47,371. Employment growth in professional and technical services also impressed, rising by 11.5 percent or 99 jobs in 2018 to average 959. Wages in professional and technical services didn’t follow the same trend of rapid growth, its average rose by just 1.7 percent or $1,473 in 2018.

Construction payrolls rose by 28.4 percent or $5.2 million in 2018 to total $23.6 million. Employment also impressed, climbing by 13.1 percent or 57 jobs to average 491. Hood River’s construction industry employment reached a new peak in 2018, surpassing its pre-housing-bubble level set in 2007. Wages in construction averaged $47,993 in 2018, about $7,700 or 19 percent above Hood River County’s all industries average.

Financial activities performed well in 2018, with a payroll gain of 12.7 percent or $1.5 million to reach $13.4 million. Employment rose by a more reserved 5 percent or 12 jobs in 2018 to average 252. Wages in financial activities, at $53,226, exceeded Hood River County’s all industries average by about $12,900 or 32 percent.

Other services experienced double-digit payroll growth, rising by $1.6 million or 11.8 percent to total $14.8 million in 2018. Employment in other services rose by 2.3 percent or 10 jobs to average 454. Other services paid an average $32,596 in 2018, about 19 percent below Hood River County’s all industries average.

Education and health services payroll ranked as private industry’s third largest in 2018 at $80.7 million. Education and health services pay actually fell to an average $47,521 in 2018, a drop of nearly 1 percent or $400. Payrolls in education and health services rose by $7 million or 9.5 percent in 2018 while employment averaged nearly 1,700, an increase of 160 jobs or 10.4 percent. Home health care workers moved out of state government ownership in 2018, landing in education and health services, fueling employment growth but dampening average wages. 

Natural resources and mining experienced a somewhat less impressive payroll gain, at 6.4 percent in 2018, rising to $67 million. Employment in natural resources and mining rose by just eight jobs in 2018 to average 2,490. Natural resources and mining paid an average $26,900 in 2018, about one-third or $13,385 below Hood River County’s all industries average pay.


Our Latest Articles Our Latest Articles

Latest Items