Northwest Oregon’s recovery from the Great Recession was uneven. Employment grew faster in Benton and Clatsop counties and lagged in Columbia and Lincoln counties. Tillamook County’s employment growth was in between these two groups. The change in gross domestic product of the counties seems to have followed roughly the same general pattern.
As with their employment, Lincoln and Columbia counties struggled to find solid Gross Domestic Product growth during the recovery from the recession. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of goods and services produced in an area. Lincoln County’s GDP fell six out of seven years from 2006 through 2013. In inflation-adjusted terms it took until 2016 for the county’s GDP to surpass the level it first reached in 2006. GDP has grown well since then, including a gain of 3.4 percent in 2018. Lincoln County’s growth was mostly provided by service industries, but manufacturing and its government sector also contributed significantly.
Tillamook County has the smallest GDP in the region, but it has been in the middle of the pack for GDP growth (14.4%) since 2008. Its GDP grew by only 1.0 percent in 2018, which is probably a little slower than would be expected for a county with a strong food manufacturing industry. Tillamook County had solid growth in 2018 from its service and manufacturing industries. Government also contributed to GDP growth. The county’s slow total growth was due to a large loss of output in its natural resources and mining industries, which subtracted 1.75 percentage points from overall GDP growth. The county lost about 20 logging jobs from 2016 through 2018; those lost jobs may be related to the drop in GDP.