2022 Payroll: Morrow and Umatilla Counties Outgrow Oregon

by Dallas Fridley

August 17, 2023

Morrow County’s total payroll growth soared to 13.6% in 2022, earning a top-tier ranking, finishing fourth among Oregon counties, trailing #3 Wheeler’s 16.2%. Gilliam County led Oregon’s 2022 payroll growth (all industries and ownerships), achieving an over-the-year increase of 24.6%. At the other end of the spectrum, Wasco County’s payroll growth ranked 36th or last among Oregon counties, rising by just 2.2%. In 15th position, Umatilla County’s 8.6% payroll increase exceeded Oregon’s 7.3%. Across Oregon, 13 counties fell short of the state’s 7.3% payroll gain, and 23 exceeded that benchmark.

Morrow County

Morrow County’s total payroll growth ranked fourth in Oregon, rising by 13.6% in 2022 to reach $410.4 million. Private industry payroll rose by $46.9 million (+15.5%) to reach $350 million. On the public side, government rose to $60.4 million, an increase of $2.2 million or 3.7%.


Manufacturing led private industry payroll growth in 2022, rising by $14.0 million or 13.7% to $116.3 million; to represent about one-third of Morrow’s private industry total. Construction also performed well, thanks to an ongoing renewable energy project, increasing its payroll by $10.2 million or 162.6% to reach $16.5 million. Heavy payroll losses in transportation, warehousing, and utilities dropped its total to $18.8 million, a loss of $7.2 million (-27.8%).

Umatilla County

Umatilla County’s total payroll increased by 8.6% or $127.6 million in 2022, rising to $1.612 billion. On the private industry side, pay rose by 9.0% or $98.1 million to reach $1.184 billion. Government payrolls impressed, rising by 7.4% or $29.6 million, pushing its total to $428.2 million.

Education and health services led Umatilla County’s private industry payroll growth in 2022, rising to $221.2 million, an increase of $25.2 million (+12.9%). Natural resources and mining also impressed, increasing its payroll by $14.0 million or 10.6%. Leisure and hospitality continued its recovery, with an impressive 19.5% or $10.1 million payroll gain, pushing its total to $61.8 million. Local government led the public sector with a payroll gain of $21.0 million or 8.4%. Local government represented about 63% of Umatilla County’s public-sector pay, reaching $271.5 million in 2022.

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