Age Profile for Manufacturing in the Mid-Valley

by Will Summers

January 31, 2019

The population in Oregon and the U.S. is aging. What does the aging of the population look like for manufacturing in the Mid-Valley area?

The majority of the manufacturing workforce has been between the ages of 25 and 54 years old between 1998 and 2018. The age cohort with the largest contingent of industry workers in 1998 was 35 to 44 years old.
After 1998, two things started to happen, the number of jobs in manufacturing began to shrink and those who were left were older. Between 1998 and 2008 employment fell by almost 5,900 jobs (16.8 percent of total industry jobs) and the age cohort with the largest contingent of workers changed to 45 to 54 years old. By 2018 the number of jobs lost in the industry totaled almost 8,300: 35,009 in 1998 down to 26,718 in 2018 and the largest contingent of workers remains 45 to 54 years old.

This drop in the number of jobs showed up in all age cohorts below 45 years old. With the reduction of number of workers in manufacturing, fewer younger workers have been employed and older workers have held on to their jobs.

Manufacturing jobs are not going away. According to the 2017 to 2027 employment projections published by the Employment Department, expected growth in production occupations (the heart of manufacturing) accounts for 1,400 additional jobs. But, the number of replacement openings due to retirement and all other reasons for leaving the industry are projected to be 21,221 production openings in the Mid-Valley area.

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