Morrow County Produces a Double-Digit Payroll Gain in 2018

by Dallas Fridley

May 29, 2019

Morrow County’s total all industries payroll grew by $38.6 million in 2018 to total $330.4 million, an increase of 13.2 percent. All industries employment rose by 7.7 percent or 446 jobs to total 6,242. Wages in Morrow County averaged $52,938, an increase of $2,584 or 5.1 percent over 2017.
Payroll and employment were not reported for the information industry in 2018 due to confidentiality limitation, other services also received confidential treatment in 2018.

Oregon’s all industries average wage reached $53,058 in 2018, just $120 higher than Morrow County’s. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Morrow County’s average wage ranked fourth, just behind Clackamas County ($53,242) and just ahead of Benton County ($52,191). Only three counties, Clackamas, 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.

Morrow County’s private industry payroll rose by $36.3 million in 2018 to total $282.6 million, an increase of 14.7 percent. Oregon’s private payrolls rose by 6.4 percent, while private employment increased by 3.1 percent. Morrow County private industry employment grew rapidly in 2018, rising by 463 jobs or 9.6 percent to total 5,269, following an increase of just 25 jobs in 2017.

Professional and business services led Morrow County in 2018 with a payroll gain of $7.4 million or 44.5 percent. Professional and business services paid an average $106,060 in 2018, about two times higher than Morrow County’s all industries average pay. Professional and business services rose by 37 jobs in 2018, an increase of 19.5 percent, to average 227.

Manufacturing boasted Morrow County’s largest payroll, at $85.5 million in 2018 or about 30 percent of total private industry payroll. Manufacturing payrolls rose by $6.1 million in 2018, an increase of 7.7 percent. Manufacturing employment rose by 149 jobs or 9 percent in 2018 to average 1,809, while representing just over one-third of Morrow County’s private industry jobs. Manufacturing pay averaged $47,264 in 2018, falling about $5,700 or 10.7 percent below the Morrow County’s all industries average.

Natural resources and mining performed well in 2018, with a payroll gain of 9.7 percent or $5.1 million to reach $57.3 million. Employment rose by 6.8 percent or 85 jobs in 2018 to average 1,344. Natural resources and mining paid an average $42,670 in 2018, about $10,300 or 19.4 percent below Morrow County’s all industries average. Compared with Oregon’s average pay, a natural resources and mining job in Morrow County earned about $5,200 more.

Education and health services payroll rose by $2.7 million or 42.8 percent in 2018 to total $9.1 million. Education and health services pay rose to an average $36,106 in 2018, a slight increase of just of just 1.9 percent or $656. Education and health services averaged 251 jobs in 2018, an increase of 72 or 40.2 percent. Home health care workers moved out of state government ownership in 2018, landing in education and health services, fueling employment growth but dampening wage growth.

Construction slashed its payroll total by about $2.0 million or 22.5 percent in 2018, falling to $6.8 million. Employment fell to 113, a loss or 35 jobs or 23.6 percent. Average pay rose by just $867 or 1.5 percent to $60,216, nearly 14 percent above Morrow County’s all industries average.

Morrow County’s government payrolls rose by $2.3 million or 5.1 percent in 2018 to total $47.8 million. Employment fell by 17 jobs or 1.7 percent to average 973.

Federal government employment fell slightly in 2018, with a loss of two jobs dropping its total to 58. Federal government payroll rose by just 1.5 percent to total $3.4 million. Federal government pay averaged $58,488 in 2018, 10.5 percent higher than Morrow County’s all industries average.

State government lost about half of its jobs in 2018, cutting 69 jobs with the reclassification of home care workers to private industry (education and health services) and falling to 65. State government payrolls sank to $3.4 million, a loss of $1.3 million or 27.7 percent. State government pay averaged $52,652 in 2018, just $286 below Wasco County’s all industries average pay.

Local government’s payroll rose by 9.5 percent in 2018, an increase of $3.6 million to reach $41.0 million. Employment also rose, climbing by 54 jobs or 6.8 in 2018 to average 850 jobs. Wages in local government averaged $48,219 in 2018, lagging Morrow County’s all industries average wage by $4,719 or 8.9 percent.


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