Wheeler County’s 2019 Payroll Growth Led by Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting

by Dallas Fridley

October 12, 2020

Wheeler County’s total all-industries payroll grew by $0.3 million in 2019 to total $9.8 million, an increase of 3 percent. All-industries employment was essentially unchanged, falling by one job to total 315. All-industries pay averaged $31,038, an increase of $1,071 or 4 percent over 2018. Wheeler County’s 2019 all-industries payroll ranked 36th out of 36 Oregon counties, likewise its annual average employment ranked 36th.
Oregon’s all-industries average wage reached $55,019 in 2019, exceeding Wheeler County’s $31,038 by $23,981 or 44 percent. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, Wheeler’s average wage ranked in 36th position, just behind Curry ($36,660). The annual wage gap for 24 of Oregon’s 36 counties exceeded $10,000 in 2019. Only two counties, Multnomah ($62,056) and Washington ($73,226), exceeded Oregon’s 2019 average wage. Together, Multnomah and Washington counties paid out 51 percent of Oregon’s $107.5 billion payroll, or about $54.5 billion, while hosting 36 percent of its jobs. Outside Multnomah and Washington counties, average pay for the remaining 34 Oregon counties falls to $46,901, a drop of about $8,100 or 15 percent.

Wheeler County’s private industry payroll rose by less than $0.1 million in 2019 to total $5.7 million, an increase of 1 percent. Private industry employment fell by three jobs in 2019 to average 199, a loss of 1 percent. Private industry pay averaged $28,502 in 2019, trailing Wheeler County’s all industries average by $2,536 or 8 percent.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting led Wheeler County in 2019 with a payroll gain of $0.2 million to reach $1.3 million. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting paid an average $38,484 in 2019, exceeding Wheeler County’s all industries average by $7,446 or 24 percent. Employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting changed very little in 2019, falling by one job to average 35.

Construction cut its payrolls by nearly $0.2 million in 2019, falling to $0.3 million, a drop of 32 percent. Employment in construction held steady in 2019 with eight jobs. Construction paid an average $42,139 in 2019, about $11,000 or 36 percent higher than Wheeler County’s all-industries average.

Education and health services cut its payroll by $0.1 million (-6%) in 2019, dropping to $1.6 million. The industry lost five jobs to average 53, a loss of 9 percent. Education and health services paid an average $30,423 in 2019 leaving a gap of 2 percent compared with Wheeler County’s all-industries average.

Government payrolls rose by $0.3 million in 2019 while employment increased by two jobs to average 116. Local government ownerships represented 93 percent of Wheeler County’s government employment, with 108 jobs; and 34 percent of all industries employment. Local government payrolls totaled $3.7 million in 2019, an increase of 5 percent or $0.2 million over 2018. Local government pay averaged $34,715, exceeding Wheeler County’s 2019 all industries average by $3,677 or 12 percent. Federal government increased its employment by two jobs in 2019, rising to eight. Federal government payrolls totaled $0.3 million, an increase of $0.1 million or 40 percent to average $37,194.


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