Friday, September 18, 2020

Businesses and Jobs in Oregon's Wildfire Evacuation Zones: An Update

Last week we posted a summary of available information about the business establishments and jobs located in wildfire evacuation zones as of the morning of September 11. That turned out to be the largest single-day total of business establishments and jobs located in evacuation zones for Oregon statewide. 

Last Friday (September 11), there were 21,350 business establishments and 232,600 jobs in level 1, 2, and 3 evacuation zones combined (see linked post above for more details). As of September 17, a total of 10,620 business establishments with 110,200 jobs were located within wildfire evacuation zones.

Although the business establishment and jobs totals in wildfire evacuation zones have declined significantly, the dynamics differ by area. Most notably, the number of jobs located in evacuation areas in Clackamas County totaled 166,000 on September 11. On September 17, Clackamas County jobs located in these zones totaled 12,300. At the same time, Medford's total jobs located in evacuation zones was 37,300 on September 11, and 90,300 on September 17.

Looking at just the level 3 evacuation zones, business and employment numbers were significantly lower on September 17 across all affected counties. Jackson County had the highest total of both businesses (250) and jobs (2,010) in level 3 areas. On September 11, the largest totals were in Clackamas County.

These single-day totals don't capture the totality of businesses or jobs affected over the duration of the ongoing wildfires, let alone the personal and economic devastation from them. Some workers living in evacuation zones are employed in other areas of the state. In addition, many businesses outside of evacuation zones have experienced closures due to poor air quality. 

More information about Oregon's wildfires can be found at

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