Umatilla County's all industries employment remained consistent, falling by 10 jobs to total 29,255. All industries payroll rose to $1.08 billion, a gain of $34.7 million, or 3.3 percent. Umatilla County's average wage rose to $36,802, a gain of $1,199, or 3.4 percent. Umatilla County's average wage ranked as Oregon's 14th highest in 2014, but was well below the state average of $46,509.
Natural resources and mining led growth in Umatilla County in 2014, rising by 144 jobs, or 4.9 percent, to total 3,063. Payrolls climbed to $89.4 million, an increase of $7.8 million or 9.6 percent, while the average wage in natural resources and mining reached $29,171, an increase of 4.5 percent or $1,250.
Construction performed well in 2014, rising by 97 jobs or 11.1 percent, to total 973. Construction payrolls climbed by $7 million or 9.6 percent, to $45.8 million and the industry's average wage reached $47,090, a gain of $2,793, or 4.3 percent.
Professional and business services landed in the minus column, reflecting the closure of the Umatilla Depot and falling by 484 jobs, or 24.3 percent, to 1,506. Payrolls fell by $12.3 million, or 12.8 percent, to total $83.7 million, while the average professional and business services wage rose by $7,351, or 15.2 percent, to $55,600.
Labor Force Trends: Farm proprietors are an important part of Umatilla County's labor force, with 751 self-employed farm operators according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. The county's annual jobless rate typically is in the upper-third of Oregon counties, averaging 8.4 percent in 2012 while ranking 11th. Oregon's annual average unemployment rate peaked at 11.1 percent in 2009 and has been subsiding ever since. By contrast, Umatilla County's 2009 unemployment rate was considerably lower, at 9.6 percent but didn't improve much until 2012, when it fell to 8.4 percent. Umatilla County's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved slightly in 2013, reaching 7.9 percent in November, 0.6 percentage point higher than Oregon, while ranking 18th.
Self-employment in farming and a relatively high labor force participation rate (LFPR) have helped to keep rates in Umatilla County relatively low. In 2012, Umatilla County ranked fifth for its 72.2 percent LFPR, exceeding Oregon's LFPR by 8.8 percentage points. That outlook could change somewhat in 2014 as the closure of the Umatilla Chemical Depot has cost the county hundreds of private and public jobs.
Industry Employment Trends: Total nonfarm payroll employment in Umatilla County remained steady in 2012 with 27,990 jobs, a loss of around 1.1 percent compared with 2008.
Educational and health services were one of Umatilla County's growth industries, rising by 12.5 percent from 2008 to 2012. Federal government, by contrast, cut 260 jobs or about 29 percent of its jobs over 2008-2012. We don't yet have final figures for 2013, but preliminary data suggest an average of 27,460 jobs and representing a loss of 1.9 percent or 530 jobs compared with 2008.
Farm proprietors play an important role in the local job picture, supporting nonfarm jobs throughout the county. Nonfarm industries in Umatilla County were led by local government, which represented 17.7 percent of its jobs in 2012 at 4,960. Indian tribal government provided 1,590 jobs in 2012 compared with 2,310 in local education. Manufacturing, with 3,450 jobs, represented 12.3 percent of Umatilla County's nonfarm total in 2012 and retail trade finished third with 3,210 or 11.5 percent. Educational and health services finished a close fourth with 3,140 jobs or 11.2 percent. Taken together, Umatilla County's top four nonfarm industries represented 14,760 jobs or about 53 percent of its nonfarm total.
Wage and Income Trends: According to Oregon Employment Department data, the average job in Umatilla County paid $35,408 in 2012. That was 80 percent of the statewide average. Umatilla County finished just in back of Morrow County, ranking 11th in Oregon, with a 2012 median household income of $48,452 – just $5 less. Umatilla County actually outperformed Morrow County in 2012, its median household income rose by $2,541 or 5.5 percent. In 2011, Umatilla County's median household income barely budged, rising by just $50, while its 2010 increase also look reserved, rising by $631 or 1.4 percent. Since 2009 Umatilla County's median household income rose by 7.1 percent or $3,222 while its ranking rose one position, from 12th to 11th.
From 1970 to 2011, wage and salary employment (people who work for someone else) grew from 15,824 to 30,814, a 95% increase. From 1970 to 2011, proprietors (self employed) grew from 4,526 to 7, 955, a 76% increase.
Source: State of Oregon Employment Department; U.S. Department of Commerce; Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Information System.
Total Establishments -> 3,018
Total Employees -> 30,703
Establishments by Size