Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baker County Gets Healthy

No, the title of this article doesn't mean that Baker County's economy has recovered from the Great Recession. However, it does mean that health care services and related industries have been a positive force for Baker County's job market over the past decade.

Since 2001, the educational and health services industry added workers in Baker County every year without fail. In fact, over the past decade, the strongest year for employment growth in the county's health care industry was 2008, during the heart of the national economic downturn. Hiring by the educational and health services industry was the primary reason Baker County's total nonfarm payroll employment rose from 2007 to 2008 while corresponding figures for Oregon and the United States moved in the opposite direction.

Educational and health services has been a growth industry throughout the country. But from 2001 to 2009 the industry's job counts grew faster in Baker County (+27%) than in Oregon (+25%) or the United States (+23%). No other Baker County industry added as many jobs -- or expanded as rapidly -- in that time span.

Factors that contribute to the better-than-average industry performance include a relatively large population over age 65 in Baker County, and the Powder River Security Facility, which focuses on inmates involved in drug and alcohol treatment programs.

You can find more details on Baker County's health care industry by reading the full article, written by Regional Economist Jason Yohannan (541-963-7111,

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