One-Third of Washington County’s Jobs Are Low Wage

One-Third of Washington County’s Jobs Are Low Wage

by Emily Starbuck

December 1, 2016

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, individuals making less than $41,100 per year are considered low income in the Portland metro area. In 2015, there were 90,655 workers employed in low-wage industries in Washington County, making up 33 percent of the county's total employment. These jobs are concentrated in sectors such as leisure and hospitality, retail, education, and nursing and social assistance. On average, these low-wage industries pay $28,160 per year, much lower than the annual average wage of $65,614 for all industries in the county.

There has been a 7 percent decrease in low-wage employment and a 10 percent increase in all other employment since 2014. However, employment in low-wage industries is projected to grow by 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, compared with an average growth rate of 15 percent for all industries in Washington County.