Hood River County: low wages, high expectations

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Archives - November 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008

JOBS OUTNUMBER RESIDENT workers in Hood River County because of a large agricultural base and summer and winter recreation. Seasonal migrants and workers from Washington fill many jobs.

Average private-industry wages, based on place of work, reflect that reality, ranking it 32nd out of 36 counties. Department of Revenue tax statistics, based on place of residence, tell a different story. Hood River County’s
adjusted gross income (AGI) from all sources averaged $46,038 per 2006 tax return, good enough to rank it 13th. Wages and salaries are the bread and butter of every county’s AGI, but not every taxpayer draws a paycheck. The self-employed in particular escape the wage data compiled through Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance system.

These workers boost Hood River County’s average business income per tax return — which ranked 5th statewide — Schedule E income including S Corporations (8th), and taxable dividends and interest (9th). Low wages are a reflection of the county’s industry base, but they do not adequately represent Hood River County’s entrepreneurial spirit.


— DALLAS FRIDLEY
Worksource Oregon Employment Department
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