Manufacturing jobs surge dispite Intel, SolarWorld layoffs
Despite mass layoffs at SolarWorld, one of Hillsboro's largest manufacturers, Washington County has added manufacturing jobs in the last year.
According to a monthly jobs report, the county added 4,500 jobs between June 2016 and June 2017 — 600 of which came in the manufacturing sector. SolarWorld reduced its workforce by around 500 employees — including 360 layoffs — by mid-July.
The county also added 1,100 jobs in transportation, warehousing and utilities, and 900 jobs both in professional and business services, as well as education and health services.
The 1,100 jobs added in transportation and warehousing represents a 25 percent increase in the sector over the last year.
Hillsboro and Tualatin continued to lead the county with low unemployment rates, followed closely by Beaverton, Sherwood and Tualatin. Cornelius and Forest Grove had the highest unemployment rates among Washington County cities with more than 10,000 residents.
Emily Starbuck, a workforce analyst for Washington County, said the addition of manufacturing jobs was the first change she'd seen for several months.
The jobs report coincides with news Providence Health & Services once again surpassed Intel as Oregon's largest private employer.
"It's something we have been projecting for a while because the health industry is growing so far in Oregon," Starbuck said. "It has to do with the aging baby boomer population and a demand for healthcare across the nation."
Starbuck also cited job cuts — 784 jobs — at Intel in Spring of 2016, which she said affected the ranking.
Intel also lost its ranking as the world's largest chip maker after its second quarter earnings were released in late July. Samsung, thanks to an emphasis on mobile technology, surpassed Intel in revenue with $16 billion in quarterly sales, ahead of Intel's $14.8 billion in the second quarter.
The information sector shrank by 1.4 percent — representing 100 jobs — and the retail sector shrank by 2.3 percent, representing a loss of 700 jobs in the last year.