A new state economic study examines demographic and economic trends over the last decade to determine how Oregon’s counties are faring.
The state study looks at changes starting in 2002. It analyzes a county’s non-farm employment, as well as population shifts. It then ranks all 36 counties, from those that are faring best, to those that are in the worst shape.
Deschutes County is doing the best in the state, with Polk and Multnomah counties coming in second and third.
Grant, Wheeler, and Harney counties are struggling the most with population changes and economic growth.
Guy Tauer is a State Employment Economist. He authored the study. He says southern counties are struggling in part because of a changing timber industry. The counties are losing population, and they’re aging.
“Some of those jobs have just migrated to where the larger mills are, where the more modern mills are, and smaller mills tend to be losing that battle a bit.”
People are moving to areas where there are more opportunities and job prospects.