Cowlitz County, WA

Cowlitz County, WA

Cowlitz County is situated near Portland metropolitan area in Washington. The county is known for its highly prolific wood products, two active ports and paper mills and a variety of manufacturing base and linkages.

Generally, Cowlitz County was the hometown of Chinook and Cowlitz tribes. They were the first settlers of the place in 1825. There were a number of Native American tribes who inhabited Cowlitz at which they engaged to trade around Washington. The Hudson’s Bay Company has played a very important role in the establishment of the fur trade of Cowlitz County that it has become the major source of income for the locals.

In the past years, the Cowlitz River has been a historical mark for trading in the region. The river was prominent because of its significance in shipping down the trade products to Columbia. However, in the late 1830’s the trade has declined as fashion has significantly changed that paved way to the development of new trade in Cowlitz. In the following years, the county has survived the recession period as the timber industry flourished abundantly.


In the last 12 years, Cowlitz County WA has recorded a large percentage of recession in their employment statistics. The closure of formerly called Reynolds Aluminum smelter was one of the main reasons of recession in the employment rate. In 2004, it had resumed in the late 2005. However, the next year wasn’t a good year for the region because the employment has tapered off again. Halfway to 2007, the recession had greatly affect Cowlitz locals and that was until 2009. In the following years, employment went sideways giving a lot of changes for people in the place. Some of the growing industries in Cowlitz County are mining, construction, manufacturing, finance, insurance, business services and so many more.

Related to employment are the income and wages of each individual in Cowlitz. The minimum hourly rate for jobs here is $20.28 cents in 2013. This was actually higher compared to the previous year. Gladly, there is a consistent increase in the median wage but on a slow rate. The increase is approximately .4 percent for every year and it is limited only to those who are in the median rate or above. Household income had significantly decreased particularly in 2013 but later on, it went up a large percentage until the late 2014. The recession also affected the income of each family and consequently, personal income was also affected greatly.

Unemployment and labor force
During those years that the region is in its recession period, the unemployment statistics was above the average. In 2009, Cowlitz has earned about 13% of unemployed locals but the number had gradually gone down to only 8% in the past 2 years. The big change had contributed greatly in strengthening the labor force in the region.

So far, Cowlitz County is recovering from the recession that it went through in the past years. It is consistently doing great in terms developing more opportunities to its locals to improve their living.