South Douglas County’s Employment Base Differs from the Rest of the County

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by Annette Shelton-Tiderman

The south Douglas County communities of Winston, Dillard, Myrtle Creek, Tri-City, Canyonville, Riddle, Days Creek, Glendale, and surrounding areas, do not have the same employment base as the rest of Douglas County. This small area accounts for approximately 20 percent of the county’s overall employment and is noticeably different. The following graphs show the distribution of employment for these two areas; for this analysis, county employment excludes the southern area (census tracts 1600, 1800, 1900, 2000, and 2100).

Some industries play a more prominent role in South County (SoCo) than for the county as a whole. On a percentage basis, this small geographic area has more than four times the manufacturing employment than the remainder of the county. This strong presence of production jobs reflects, in part, continuing reliance on local forests and wood products. This close connection with natural resources and mining is supported by area employment in that sector, with 8 percent of employment as compared with the county’s 5 percent in natural resource-related jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities ranks second for both SoCo and the county. Interstate 5 readily enables the transportation of goods and services between all points north and south.

The rugged outdoors, tribal gaming and other recreational pursuits brings leisure and hospitality employment to third place (17%). This is notably much more than the rest of the county’s 10 percent. Health care and social assistance, supporting 20 percent of the county’s employment, accounts for only 4 percent of SoCo’s employment. Again, I-5 also provides efficient connections to health-related facilities and services in Roseburg, the county’s largest city. Other more urban-centered activities such as professional and business services, public administration, and financial activities have smaller presence in this rural area than countywide. Construction is another sector that has seen more urban growth in recent years.

Looking at local employment patterns may help employers and community planners understand their strengths and areas of potential opportunities. Manufacturing, natural resource-based work, and recreational activities – coupled with good transportation routes – play a role in maintaining the uniqueness of SoCo.

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