Wheeler County 2016 Payroll and Employment

by Dallas Fridley

August 4, 2017

Wheeler County’s total all industries payroll grew by $0.1 million in 2016 to total $8.5 million, an increase of just 1.7 percent. All industries employment landed in the minus column, cutting four jobs to total 287, a loss of 1.4 percent. Wages in Wheeler County averaged $29,479 in 2016, an increase of $899, or 3.1 percent, over 2015. Wheeler County’s 2016 all industries total payroll ranked 36th out of 36 Oregon counties; likewise its annual average employment ranked 36th.
Oregon’s all industries wage averaged $49,453 in 2016, producing a gap of $19,974, some 40.4 percent higher than Wheeler County’s. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Wheeler County’s average wage ranked last, in 36th position, just behind Wallowa County ($33,701). 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.

Wheeler County’s private industry payroll fell slightly in 2016 to total $4.6 million, a loss of 0.9 percent. Oregon’s private industry payroll rose by 5.5 percent. Private industry employment fell to 175 jobs in 2016, a loss of seven jobs or 3.8 percent.

Education and health services led Wheeler County in 2016 with a strong payroll gain of $203,538 or 16.2 percent. Education and health services paid an average $28,623 in 2016; about 3 percent below Wheeler County’s all industries average wage. Employment growth in education and health services also impressed, rising by five jobs, or 10.9 percent, in 2016 to average 51.

Natural resources and mining cut its payroll by nearly a quarter million in 2016, falling to $1.1 million, a loss of 18.3 percent. Employment in natural resources and mining fell by eight jobs or 18.6 percent in 2016 to average 35. Natural resources and mining paid an average $31,112 in 2016, 5.5 percent above Wheeler County’s all industries average.

Government payrolls reached $3.8 million in 2016 while averaging 113 jobs. Local government led the public sector, with a payroll gain of $184,732 climbing to $3.5 million, an increase of 5.6 percent. Employment in local government rose by four jobs to average 104, an increase of 4 percent. Local government pay averaged $33,441 in 2016, 13.4 percent above Wheeler County’s all industries average.


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