MALHEUR COUNTY, Ore. - According to a recent press release issued by the Oregon Employment Department, preliminary estimates for September 2016 show a positive employment trend for Malheur County.

Nonfarm payroll employment in Malheur County increased by 330 jobs over the year.

The private sector provided most of the growth and was led by manufacturing (+80) jobs. Wholesale trade (+40) jobs and education and health services (+40) jobs were also created, as were all private industries (except for financial activities).

“This is very positive for Malheur County,” stated Malheur County Judge Dan Joyce. “This means good family wage jobs are being created for our citizens.” Commissioner Larry Wilson added, “After many years of negative employment numbers, I am pleased to see this economic trend reversed.”

The public sector gained 70 jobs for the year, with most of the gain in local government (+60) jobs.

Nonfarm payroll employment jumped by 510 jobs for the month and was led by local government (+290) jobs and wholesale trade (+190) jobs.

Local government added jobs for the school year and wholesale trade added for the harvest season.

The civilian labor force climbed by 668 people over the year, moving from 12,281 to 12,949.

“An increase in the civilian labor force is positive” said Commissioner Dan Hodges. “This will greatly help our small business owners who are looking to hire more workers, but struggling to find folks ready to work.”

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 6.5 percent in September 2015 to 6.2 percent in September 2016.

“There is no doubt about it; the economic path we are on is positive, said Greg Smith, Malheur County Economic Development. “But…there is still more work to be done.”

Malheur County has various partners available to assist businesses and those looking to start a business. In addition, we have numerous business and tax incentive programs available to help companies improve their bottom line. In fact, the most frequently asked question we receive is, "What business and tax incentive programs do Oregon and Malheur County have to offer?"

Business and tax incentive programs are designed to help companies expand, create additional jobs, and establish themselves in a local market. Programs are offered through the local, state, and federal levels.

For a business looking to move or expand into Oregon, the Oregon Investment Advantage Program provides eight years of income tax abatement. Eligible projects and companies must offer a new product or commodity that would not compete with existing businesses producing the same. The incentive may be paired with other programs listed below to eliminate tax liability to the state for a number of years.

For businesses looking to start or expand in Oregon, there are numerous programs available. The Oregon Business Expansion and Small Manufacturing Expansion programs are cash-based forgivable loans designed to assist different industry sectors. The Food Processing Machinery and Equipment (M&E) Program provides property tax exemption on new equipment for five years after being placed into service.

The most utilized incentive program, the Malheur County Enterprise Zone, is designed to provide three to five years of property tax abatement on new investments. Malheur County's zone is also designated a Long-Term Enterprise Zone by the State of Oregon, allowing up to 15 years of tax abatement for qualifying projects. All projects are tied to job creation and local approval.

There are also various tax credits, such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Qualified Research Activities Credits, Renewable Energy Tax Credits, and more. Together, business and tax incentive programs have attracted over $120 million of new investment to Malheur County in the past few years.

If you are interested in learning more, Malheur County Economic Development can bring the various economic development partners around the table to meet with you and develop a tailored plan for your business. We are a team ready to assist you. Contact us today at 541-889-6216 or

Nonfarm payroll employment in Malheur County increased by 210 jobs over the year. The private sector provided the majority of growth and was led by manufacturing (+110) and education and health services (+80). The public sector slipped by ten jobs for the year; state government rose by 40 jobs while local government dropped 40 and federal government dropped 10. Between June and July, total nonfarm employment dropped by 410 jobs. Local government shed 400 jobs as schools in the county let out for summer vacation. The civilian labor force added 675 people over the year, moving from 11,954 to 12,629. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 6.6 percent in July 2015 to 6.1 percent in July 2016.

Source: WorkSource (Oregon Employment Department)