Wasco County 2016 Payroll and Employment Growth

Wasco County 2016 Payroll and Employment Growth

by Dallas Fridley

July 19, 2017

Wasco County’s total all industries payroll grew by $40.5 million in 2016 to total $452.9 million, a healthy increase of 9.8 percent. All industries employment rose by a brisk 5.5 percent or 618 jobs to total 11,912. Wages in Wasco County averaged $38,024 in 2016, an increase of $1,510 or 4.1 percent over 2015.

Oregon’s all industries wage averaged $49,453 in 2016, some 23.1 percent higher than Wasco County’s, producing a gap of $11,434. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Wasco County’s average wage ranked near the middle of the pack in 16th position, just behind Douglas County ($38,732) and just ahead of Lake County ($37,575). Only four counties, Clackamas ($49,500), Morrow ($51,363), Multnomah ($55,430), and Washington ($65,858) exceeded Oregon’s 2016 average wage. The average wage gap for two-thirds of Oregon’s counties exceeded $10,000 in 2016.

Wasco County’s private industry payroll rose by $36.1 million in 2016 to total $353.3 million, a strong increase of 11.4 percent and well above Oregon’s 5.5 percent gain. Private industry employment rose to 9,776 jobs in 2016, a noteworthy increase of 587 or 6.4 percent.

Natural resources and mining led Wasco County in 2016 with a payroll gain of $13.5 million or an astounding 46.5 percent! Natural resources and mining paid an average $25,311 in 2016; about one-third below Wasco County’s all industries average wage. Employment growth in natural resource and mining also impressed, rising by 21 percent, or 290 jobs, in 2016 to average 1,674. Natural resources and mining produced about half of Wasco County’s 2016 private industry employment growth.

Wasco County’s information industry stood alone, with wages averaging $169,128 in 2016. Its average wage rose by $22,912 in 2016 on payroll growth of $6 million and an employment increase of just six jobs, rising to 225. Information’s payroll exceeded totals for manufacturing ($27.3 million), construction ($14.1 million), professional and business services ($20.9 million), leisure and hospitality ($23.1 million), and federal government ($23.6 million) to name a few.

Education and health services boasted Wasco County’s largest private industry payroll in 2016, at $103.2 million. Payrolls in education and health services rose by $6 million or 6.1 percent in 2016. Employment rose by a more subtle 2.9 percent, or 63 jobs, in 2016 to average 2,223 while ranking as Wasco County’s top industry employer. Wages in education and health services, at $46,406, produced a gap of 22 percent or $8,382 compared with Wasco County’s all industries average.

Manufacturing experienced double-digit payroll growth, rising by $2.5 million, or 10.2 percent, to total $27.3 million in 2016. Employment in manufacturing rose by 5.0 percent or 36 jobs to average 749. Manufacturing paid an average of $36,481 in 2016, falling 4.1 percent below Wasco County’s all industries average.

Retail trade increased its payroll total by 7.1 percent, or $3.1 million, in 2016 to total $46.4 million. Retail trade ranked just below natural resources and mining, with 1,663 jobs in 2016, an increase of 3.2 percent or 52 jobs over its 2015 average. The average 2016 wage in retail trade exceed natural resources and mining’s average by about $2,600, while lagging Wasco County’s all industries average by 26.6 percent or $10,108.

Leisure and hospitality produced a nice payroll gain of 9.1 percent in 2016, rising to $23.1 million. Employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 57 jobs, or 4.4 percent, in 2016 to average 1,338. Leisure and hospitality paid an average of $17,275 in 2016, about 55 percent below Wasco County’s all industries average.

Government ownerships produced mixed results in 2016 with local government payrolls climbing by 2.4 percent to total $60.7 million. Tepid employment growth in local government produced a gain of just 1.6 percent or 24 jobs, rising to 1,495. Local government wages, at $40,578, increased by 0.8 percent in 2016, $309 above the 2015 figure. State government lost jobs in 2016, falling by 0.6 percent to average 349 but payrolls rose by 6 percent to total $15.4 million. Federal government gained 11 jobs to average 292 in 2016, an increase of 3.9 percent. Federal government payrolls rose by 10.3 percent or $2.2 million to total $23.6 million, while its average wage reached $80,732.