Umatilla County Payrolls Increase by 4 Percent in 2018 Despite a Small Job Loss

by Dallas Fridley

May 6, 2019

Umatilla County’s total all industries payroll grew by $48 million in 2018 to total $1.24 billion, a moderate increase of 4 percent. All industries employment fell by 0.1 percent or 29 jobs to total 30,873. Wages in Umatilla County averaged $40,233 in 2018, an increase of $1,592 or 4.1 percent over 2017.
Oregon’s all industries average wage reached $53,058 in 2018, about $12,800 higher than Umatilla County’s. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Umatilla County’s average wage ranked 19th, near the middle of the pack, just behind Hood River County ($40,825) and just ahead of Lake County ($40,030). 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.

Umatilla County’s private industry payroll rose by $45.7 million in 2018 to total $898.9 million, an increase of 5.4 percent. Private industry employment rose to 23,949 in 2018, rising by 318 jobs or 1.3 percent.

Education and health services led Umatilla County in 2018 with a payroll gain of $11.7 million or a brisk 7.9 percent. Payrolls in education and health services totaled $159.6 million in 2018 while its pay averaged $42,234; about $2,000 or 5 percent above Umatilla County’s all industries average wage. Employment growth in education and health services outpaced payrolls, rising by 9.9 percent or 339 jobs in 2018 to average 3,778, and overtaking manufacturing as Umatilla County’s largest private industry employer. Note that a legislative change moved home health care workers out of state government ownership in 2018, providing a significant boost to education and health services. The 2018 average wage in education and health services actually fell by $750 or 1.7 percent to $42,235.

Construction led private industry payroll growth in 2018, rising by a sizzling 17.7 percent or $9.3 million to total $61.4 million. Employment rose by an impressive 14.4 percent or 148 jobs in 2018 to average 1,176. Average wages in construction, at $52,246, produced a gap of nearly 30 percent or $12,000 compared with Umatilla County’s all industries average.

Natural resources and mining performed about average in 2018, with payrolls up 4.7 percent or $5 million to total $111.2 million. Employment fell slightly, dropping by 21 jobs to average 3,386. Natural resources and mining paid an average $32,830 in 2018 –about 18 percent or $7,400 shy of Umatilla County’s all industries average wage.

Professional and business services produced a payroll gain of 13.7 percent in 2018, rising by $6.7 million to total $55.2 million. Employment in professional and business services rose by 4.9 percent or 66 jobs to average 1,403. Professional and business services paid an average $39,314 in 2018, lagging Umatilla County’s all industries average by about $900 or 2.3 percent.

Leisure and hospitality produced a healthy payroll gain in 2018, rising by 8.4 percent or $3.4 million to total $44.3 million. Leisure and hospitality averaged 2,578 jobs, rising by just 1 percent or 25 jobs. Leisure and hospitality paid an average $17,165 in 2018 while lagging Umatilla County’s all industries average by about 57 percent or $23,000.

Government ownerships produced a payroll gain of just $2.4 million or 0.7 percent in 2018. On the employment side, government hit the skids, falling by 348 jobs or 4.8 percent to total 6,923. Federal government essentially held its own in 2018 with 490 jobs. Federal payrolls rose by 2.9 percent or $1 million to total $36.9 million, while its average wage reached $76,028.

State government cut employment due to the movement of home health care workers to private industry (education and health services), falling by about 400 jobs or 23 percent to average 1,391. State government payrolls fell by a more reserved 6.8 percent or $6.6 million to total $90 million. Local government payrolls rose by $7.9 million or 3.8 percent in 2018 to total $216.3 million. Employment in local government rose by 1.3 percent or 65 jobs to average 5,047. Local government wages, at $42,862, increased by 2.5 percent or $1,029. Within the local government ownership, Indian tribal government produced a payroll total of $68.4 million in 2018 with 1,730 jobs. Wages in Indian tribal government averaged $39,528, 2.5 percent higher than Umatilla County’s all industries average.


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