Morrow County’s Industry Profile Limited 2020 Job Loses

by Dallas Fridley

March 24, 2021

Leisure and hospitality is a relatively small industry in Morrow County, averaging 200 jobs in 2020, down 10 over the year. Morrow County’s private industry employment actually rose by 20 jobs in 2020, while government lost 50. Professional and business services figured prominently, adding 150 jobs (+58%), effectively offsetting a loss of 110 in manufacturing.
Morrow County’s private industry structure is unique. Leisure and hospitality represented just 5% of its private industry jobs in 2019 – ranking last among Oregon’s 36 counties. Morrow County ranked first for its manufacturing sector, which commanded 48% of its private industry jobs.

Leisure and hospitality represented about 13% of Oregon’s private industry jobs in 2019. All but seven counties met or exceeded Oregon’s leisure and hospitality profile, with Lincoln’s 32% leading the state. By contrast, manufacturing accounted for 12% of Oregon’s jobs in 2019, led by Morrow County’s 48%, with Lincoln’s 7% ranking last. Getting back to private industry employment, Lincoln County’s 2020 job loss ranked as Oregon’s deepest, dropping 11.8%, while Morrow’s 0.5% increase finished just behind Crook (+0.6%), Gilliam (+2.3%), and Sherman (+5.2%).

Morrow County enjoyed exceptional growth for much of the 2010-2020 decade. Nonfarm employment rose by 1,610 jobs or 48% over the first nine years of the decade, 2010 to 2019, to reach a new peak of 4,980. The impacts of COVID-19 cost Morrow County 20 jobs in 2020, resulting in a one-year loss of 0.4%.

Private industry rose by 20 jobs in 2020, despite the impacts of COVID, climbing to 3,970, up 0.5%. Over the 2010-2020 decade, Morrow County’s private employment rose by 1,530 jobs, an increase of 63%. Government lost 50 jobs to COVID in 2020 leaving an increase of just 70 jobs over the decade to average 990, an increase of 8%.

Manufacturing led private industry growth between 2010 and 2019, rising by 610 jobs or 48%. COVID losses in 2020 cost manufacturing 110 jobs, dropping its total to 1,780 and surrendering 18% of its growth over the prior nine years. Despite the 2020 loss, manufacturing still performed well over the 2010-2020 decade, rising by 500 jobs (+39%).

The industry group “other private” combines the construction industry with information and other services to address confidentiality limitations. Information includes data warehouse operations while construction employment was dominated by a power plant completed in 2016. From 2010 to 2019 the other private group rose by 400 jobs, followed by a gain of 60 in 2020.
Professional and business services performed exceptionally well in 2020, rising by 150 jobs to average 410, an increase of 58%. Over the decade professional and business services rose by 350 jobs.

Retail trade produced a net gain of 70 between 2010 and 2019 to average 250 jobs, an increase of 39%. Retail trade reached its peak in 2017 with 300 jobs, falling by 50 from 2017 to 2019 and then holding steady in 2020.

Education and health services rose by 130 jobs (+93%) over the 2010-2020 decade to average 270. Its performance included the reclassification of state home care workers to private industry in 2018. Education and health services rose by 70 jobs in 2018 alone, while state government cut 70 jobs. Education and health services held steady in both 2019 and 2020.

Local government led the public sector, rising by 210 jobs between 2010 and 2019 (+30%). Local government also accounted for all of government’s losses in 2020, with a COVID-impacted drop of 60 jobs (-7%) in 2020 to average 860.


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