By and large, job growth in rural Oregon has lagged behind the post-recession recovery seen in metro areas like Portland and Salem, according to a report issued Tuesday by the state Employment Department.
One notable exception, however, is in Morrow County, where employment has risen a whopping 40.1 percent compared to pre-recession levels and workers are paid the third-highest average wages statewide.
The state’s report, titled “The Employment Landscape of Rural Oregon,” details why rural areas are rebounding more slowly than their urban counterparts. Out of 23 counties identified as “rural” or “non-metro,” 17 remain below their peak employment prior to the 2007-09 recession.
Morrow County bucks that trend in a big way, thanks largely to the Port of Morrow in Boardman which has leveraged available land and infrastructure to recruit a diverse economic base including food processors, biofuels and a recent proliferation of large online data centers.
Read more at the East Oregonian.