Year in Review 2023: Yamhill County

by Pat O'Connor

March 14, 2024

Yamhill County continued to recover and add jobs following the Pandemic Recession in the spring of 2020. In 2021 Yamhill County’s total nonfarm employment grew 3.4%, bouncing back from the pandemic. Employment growth was even stronger in 2022. Yamhill County’s total nonfarm employment grew 4.6%, adding more than 1,500 jobs. The only year since 2001 that Yamhill County had faster job growth was back in 2005, when the county had annual employment grow 4.9%. Employment continued to expand in Yamhill County in 2023, but not as fast as 2022. Yamhill County added 740 jobs or 2.1% in 2023.   
Graph showing Yamhill County Total Nonfarm Employment: Annual Percent Change

Yamhill County Labor Force

Similar to the U.S. and Oregon, Yamhill County found itself in a tight labor market in 2023. Prior to the pandemic Yamhill County had a very tight labor market and had its all-time low unemployment rate of 3.0%. In 2023, Yamhill County’s unemployment rate is back down near those historic lows. The county started 2023 with an unemployment rate of 4.3% in January 2023. In December 2023 Yamhill County’s unemployment rate was 3.4%.

Yamhill County’s annual average unemployment rate in 2023 was 3.5%. Yamhill County has only had an annual unemployment rate below 4% for five years since 1990. The other years were 2017, 2018, and 2019; just prior to the pandemic recession, and in 2022.

Yamhill County’s civilian labor force showed a slight decline in 2023, it was down roughly 400 people (-0.7%).

Total Nonfarm Employment           

On an average annual basis Yamhill County’s payroll employment grew by 740 or 2.1% in 2023. In 2022, Yamhill County’s employment grew 1,560 or 4.6%.

Yamhill County’s private sector grew 2.1% in 2023, adding 650 jobs.

Health care and social assistance was the sector that showed the most job gains in Yamhill County in 2023, adding 550 jobs, up 10.2% annually.

Yamhill County’s leisure and hospitality sector continued to grow in 2023, adding 90 jobs or +2.4%. Leisure and hospitality’s annual average employment in 2023 was still 60 jobs below its employment level in 2019, prior to the pandemic.   

Yamhill County’s public sector recorded employment gains in 2023, adding 90 (+2.0%). The gains were concentrated in local government, which added 100 jobs (+2.7%).

Benchmarking Process

The newly revised payroll employment numbers are the result of the annual benchmarking process. This revision process is conducted by the Oregon Employment Department staff in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment numbers for both 2022 and 2023 are revised. For the monthly data through September 2023, original survey-based estimates were replaced with universe employment counts from the Unemployment Insurance tax system. Numbers from October through December 2023 were then re-estimated using sample employment data from a survey of businesses.  

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