Westside workers earn highest average wages in the state


Average 2016 Wages   Washington County is often referred to as "the economic engine of the state," because of the growing number of jobs and comparatively high wages earned here. 
   Manufacturing has become the foundation for the county's success with nearly 800 companies paying an average of $111,503 per worker, and total wages in excess of $5.4 billion last year.
   In fact, manufacturers in Washington County account for one quarter of all manufacturing jobs currently found in the state of Oregon.
   The diversified manufacturing base, and attractive wages and benefits, helped bring Washington County to the highest average wage earnings among 36 Oregon counties last year, according to a new report compiled by the State of Oregon Employment Department.
   The 2016 Employment and Wages By Industry report shows modest wage gains for workers in the state's three largest counties that make up the Portland metropolitan region.
   Despite these impressive gains, workers in 32 Oregon counties earned less than the statewide average wage of $49,452, with workers in 24 of these counties earning less than $40,000 in 2016.
   In fact, Morrow County, in rural north central Oregon, was the only Oregon county outside the Portland metropolitan region in which average wage earnings exceeded the statewide average wage, contrasting, workers in Wheeler County, directly south of Morrow County, where the average wage was just $29,479 last year.