Private Education and Health Services Highlighted Wasco County’s Job Growth from 2009 to 2019

by Dallas Fridley

March 31, 2020

Wasco County’s nonfarm employment rose by 770 jobs, or 8 percent, between 2009 and 2019 to average 10,200. Wasco County reached a nonfarm employment peak in 2017, averaging 10,410 jobs. Losses in 2018 and 2019 cut nonfarm employment by 210 jobs or 2 percent.

Private industry accounted for all of Wasco County’s job growth, rising by 1,210 jobs from 2009 to 2019, an increase of 17 percent. Government lost 440 jobs, a drop of 18 percent.

Indian tribal government represented most of government’s loss from 2009 to 2019, falling by 320, or 97 percent, to average just 10 jobs in 2019. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs moved its casino gambling operations to a new location along Highway 26 in Jefferson County, removing 180 jobs from Wasco County. Additionally, the Kah-Nee-Ta resort was shuttered, resulting in the loss of 140 jobs between 2017 and 2019.

State government rose by 30 from 2009 to 2017 to average 360 jobs, but the reclassification of home care workers in 2018 transferred jobs to private education and health services. State government cut 100 jobs from 2017 to 2019, dropping its average to 260 jobs.

Federal government also cut jobs, falling by 40 or 12 percent to 290 and local education trimmed its payrolls by 60 to average 700 jobs, a loss of 8 percent. Other local government (excluding education and Indian tribal) provided an offsetting 10-year gain of 40 jobs to average 680 in 2019.

Education and health services dominated private industry growth from 2009 to 2019, rising by 630 jobs (+37%) to average 2,350. From 2009 to 2017, education and health services rose by 520 jobs, with an additional 110 gained over the past two years, reflecting the reclassification of home care workers from state government.

Leisure and hospitality impressed, rising by 200 jobs from 2009 to 2017 – but job losses from 2017 to 2019 cost the industry 20 jobs. Over the past 10 years (2009-2019), the industry rose by 16 percent to average 1,340.

Professional and business services ranked third for its 10-year 120-job or 27 percent increase. The industry averaged 570 jobs in 2019 with an increase of 30 jobs (+6%) over the past two years.
Retail trade lost ground from 2017 to 2019, cutting 40 jobs for a drop of 2 percent. The industry grew steadily from 2009 to 2017, rising by 160 jobs or 10 percent. With its losses taken into account, retail trade rose by 120 jobs over the decade to average 1,650 jobs in 2019.

Other private industry job gains from 2009 to 2019 included other services (+70 jobs); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+40); mining and logging (+20); and construction (+20). Job losers included financial activities (-20), wholesale trade (-10), and information (-10).

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