Characteristics of Morrow County Workers: Young Workers, Prime Working Years and Those Nearing Retirement

by Dallas Fridley

November 16, 2017

Rural Oregon counties tend to have a higher share of older workers. More than one out of four workers (27%) employed in a rural Oregon county has reached age 55. In Morrow County, older workers also held a 27 percent share in 2016, well above Oregon’s 23 percent. Among Oregon’s 36 counties, the share of older workers in Morrow County ranked in 14th position just ahead of Jefferson County; Wheeler County ranked 1st (38%) and Washington County ranked 36th (20%).
Workers Nearing Retirement by Industry

The 55 and over age group represented 27 percent or 1,374 of Morrow County’s 5,123 workers. At the industry level, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting may see the most retirements over the next decade. With 340 workers ages 55 and over in 2016, 28 percent are nearing retirement age. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ranked as Morrow County’s second largest industry employer, with 1,198 workers in 2016.

Manufacturing was Morrow County’s largest industry, with 1,391 workers in 2016. Twenty-four percent, or 315 workers, are nearing retirement over the next decade. Arts, entertainment, and recreation’s 68 percent share led all industries, while only 10 percent of information’s workers came from the ages 55 and over group.

Prime Working Years

Workers ages 25 to 54 are in their prime working years, with a labor force participation rate (U.S.) of about 81 percent in 2016. For workers ages 55 and over, the U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) drops to 40 percent in 2016 or to about half the rate of workers in their prime working years. Workers age 20 to 24 produced a LFPR of 70.5 percent in 2016, while workers ages 16 to 19 experienced the lowest LFPR, at 35.2 percent.
Morrow County employed 5,123 workers in 2016 and adults in their prime working years represented 63 percent or 3,241. Manufacturing employed the greatest number of Morrow County’s prime working age adults, with 911 in 2016. Information employed 239 prime working age adults in 2016, with that group holding an 82 percent share. At the other end of the spectrum, retail trade employed 109 workers in their prime years, representing 51 percent of its 214 jobs.

Young Workers

Young workers represented just 10 percent of Morrow County’s 5,123 workers, with 508 employed in 2016. Manufacturing led all industries, employing 165 workers ages 14 to 24 to produce a 12 percent share. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting employed 123 young workers, followed by retail trade with 58. The young workers group held an abysmal 1 percent share in education services, followed by transportation and warehousing at 2 percent.

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