Umatilla County’s Job Growth Hits and Misses: 2007-2017

by Dallas Fridley

March 13, 2018

Umatilla County produced a net nonfarm employment loss of 70 jobs or 0.2 percent from 2007 to 2017 to average 28,130. Employment losses during the Great Recession coupled with the Umatilla Depot’s closure delivered a one-two punch, leaving nonfarm employment at a standstill.
Private industry fought a hard battle, averaging 20,620 jobs in 2017, an increase of 190 or 1 percent over 2007. Government employment fell by 250 jobs over the 10-year period ending in 2017 to average 7,520, a loss of 3 percent.

The Umatilla Depot supported jobs in private industry and government. Professional and business services cut 910 jobs between 2007 and 2017 to average 1,330, a loss of 41 percent. Federal government cut 420 jobs (-46%), falling to 490 in 2017.

State government job losses were also steep, with a drop of 250 jobs or 12 percent from 2007 to 2017, cutting its average to 1,850. Local government education rose by 100 jobs or 7 percent in 10 years to 2,380. The big performance belonged to Indian Tribal government, where an increase of 550 jobs (+47%) pushed its average to 1,720 in 2017.

Education and health services led private industry growth from 2007 to 2017, rising by 680 jobs to average 3,450, an increase of 25 percent. The industry grew throughout the decade, rising by 510 jobs from 2007 to 2015 plus an additional 170 over the past two years.
Transportation, warehousing, and utilities also impressed, with a 10-year gain of 230 or 9 percent to average 2,890 jobs in 2017. The industry experienced particularly strong growth over the past two years, rising by 120 jobs or 4 percent.

Leisure and hospitality ranked third for its 220-job or 9 percent increase. The industry averaged 2,560 jobs in 2017 with an increase of 70 jobs (+3%) over the past two years.

Wholesale trade impressed, rising to 880 and earning honorable mention for its 170-job, 24 percent gain. Financial activities lost 130 jobs, falling to 790 in 2017, a loss of 14 percent.

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