Umatilla County’s 2020 Private Industry Payroll Passes $1 Billion

by Dallas Fridley

December 8, 2021

Umatilla County’s total all industries payroll grew by $57.5 million in 2020 to total almost $1.4 billion, an increase of 4.4%. Umatilla’s payroll growth ranked 13th among Oregon’s 36 counties, while five Oregon counties, including Clatsop, Hood River, Lincoln, Linn, and Wheeler, suffered a payroll loss in 2020. Oregon’s payroll rose by 2.4% or $2.6 billion to $110.1 billion, while its remaining 31 counties, including Umatilla, managed at least some 2020 payroll growth.
One big caveat for 2020 was the Paycheck Protection Program, which distributed more than $123.6 million in loan assistance to eligible Umatilla County businesses. A total of 1,450 loans were approved with 729 loans or about $73.5 million forgiven to date according to the SBA. To be eligible for forgiveness, at least 60% of the total borrowed, or close to $44.1 million, had to be spent on payroll costs. These payroll costs could be incurred in 2020 or 2021 or both years depending on the period covered by the loan. The window for forgiveness is open for 10-months following the last day of the covered loan period, with Umatilla County’s total loan forgiveness likely to rise above $44.1 million.

On the employment side, 33 of 36 Oregon counties suffered 2020 job losses. Total all ownerships (private and government) employment in Umatilla County fell by 1,133 jobs or 3.6% in 2020, compared with Oregon’s 6.0% loss. Wages rose considerably in 2020, with Umatilla County’s average reaching $45,014, an increase of $3,440 or 8.3% over 2019. The mix of jobs changed in 2020 with heavy losses in industries with below average pay, in particular leisure and hospitality and other services.

Oregon’s all industries average wage reached $59,925 in 2020, about $14,900 higher than Umatilla County’s. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Umatilla County’s average wage ranked in the middle of the pack, in 16th position, just behind Wasco County ($45,698) and just ahead of Columbia County ($44,933). The annual wage gap for 26 of Oregon’s 36 counties exceeded $10,000 in 2020. Only three counties, Morrow ($60,567), Multnomah ($68,054), and Washington ($79,899), exceeded Oregon’s 2020 average wage. Multnomah County boasted Oregon’s largest payroll in 2020, with $32.5 billion or 29.5% of Oregon’s total payroll. Washington County’s 2020 payroll, at $22.8 billion ranked second. Together the two counties held just over half of Oregon’s $110.1 billion payroll while hosting nearly 42% of its jobs. Excluding Multnomah and Washington, average pay for Oregon’s remaining 34 counties falls to $50,985, a drop of about $8,940 or 15%.

Umatilla County’s private industry payroll rose by $54.1 million in 2020 to total just over $1 billion, an increase of 5.7%. Private industry employment fell to 23,736, a drop of 743 jobs or 3.0%. Government experienced a payroll increase of $3.4 million or 0.9%. Government employment fell by 390 jobs or 5.5% and its average wage reached $55,054, an increase of 6.8%.

Education and health services led Umatilla County in 2020 with a payroll gain of $16.3 million or 10.0%. Employment rose to 4,025 jobs, an increase of 238 or 6.0%. Education and health services also ranked as private industry’s largest in 2020 based on employment and payroll. The average wage in healthcare and social assistance reached $45,484, an increase of 3.0% or $1,453. It should be noted that a fairly significant industry code change in 2020 shifted about 270 jobs from other services and into health care and social assistance; see the note below on industry code changes for additional detail.

Construction performed exceptionally well in 2020, with payrolls up 21.0% or $12.6 million to total $72.1 million. Employment rose by 50 jobs (+4.2%) to average 1,248. Construction pay increased by $8,139 to reach $57,745, exceeding Umatilla County’s all ownerships average by 28.0% or $12,731.

Retail trade produced a payroll gain of 9.0% in 2020, rising by $8.6 million to total $101.4 million. Employment rose by 81 jobs or 3.0% to average 3,289. Wages in retail trade averaged $30,820 in 2020, trailing Umatilla County’s all industries average by nearly $14,200.

Information led Umatilla County’s payroll growth with a 25.0% increase in 2020, rising by $8.5 million to $42.8 million. Information paid an average $89,946 in 2020, an increase of about $6,200 or 7.4% over 2019. Employment in information rose by 16.0% or 67 jobs in 2020 to average 476.

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities increased its 2020 payroll by $6.8 million or 5.0% to total $133.7 million. Employment actually fell by 12 jobs to average 2,244 and annual wages reached $59,566, more than $14,500 above the county’s 2020 average.

Manufacturing experienced a payroll increase of $0.7 million or 0.6%, rising to $135.9 million in 2020. Employment in manufacturing fell by 7.3% or 244 jobs to average 3,078. Manufacturing’s average wage rose by $3,472 or 8.5% to $44,147. Manufacturing wages lagged Umatilla County’s all ownerships average by nearly $900 or 2.0%.

Payroll losses in other services cut its 2020 total to $22.6 million, a loss of $5.7 million or 20.0%. An industry code change in 2020 shifted about 270 jobs from other services to education and health services while the industry’s payroll and employment losses also reflect COVID-19 impacts. Wages in other services rose to $31,486 in 2020, an increase of $4,753.

Leisure and hospitality cut its payroll by $4.2 million or 9.0% in 2020, falling to $42.7 million. Leisure and hospitality’s annual wage rose by $965 to average $18,784, about $26,200 below Umatilla County’s average pay. Leisure and hospitality’s 2020 payroll ranked below wholesale trade ($49.1 million) but exceeded financial activities ($37.2 million). Employment fell to 2,271 in 2020, a loss of about 357 jobs or 14.0%.

Government payrolls rose by just 1.0% to total $366.8 million in 2020. Government cut 390 jobs in 2020 to average 6,663. State government idled 19 jobs and its payrolls rose by 1.0% to $102.3 million. State government pay averaged $71,371, nearly $26,400 above Umatilla County’s average. Federal government payrolls rose by $0.4 million or 1.0% to total $37 million, while its employment fell to 473, a loss of 15 jobs. Federal government pay exceeded Umatilla County’s all industries average by $33,176, paying an average $78,190. Local government payrolls rose by $1.5 million, to total $227.5 million in 2020, up 0.7%. Local government employment fell by 357 jobs to average 4,756, while its pay averaged $47,833, an increase of $3,639 or 8.0%.

Note: A review of NAICS coding found that certain business units in 814110 (Private Households), which is part of the other services industry group, more closely aligned with industry code 624120 (Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities). This change impacted approximately 10,600 jobs in other services. The move was essentially limited to Home Care Workers and Personal Support Workers hired by public or private health care providers to assist in the daily care of elderly or disabled individuals. They typically live in the individual's home providing day-to-day care. Job duties may include housekeeping, food preparation and shopping.

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