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

by Dallas Fridley

November 17, 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 Sherman 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 Sherman County ranked in 12th position just ahead of Clatsop 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 183 of Sherman County’s 673 workers. At the industry level, transportation and warehousing may see the most retirements over the next decade. With 37 workers ages 55 and over in 2016, 26 percent were nearing retirement age. Transportation and warehousing ranked as Sherman County’s largest industry employer, with 142 workers in 2016.

Public administration led all industries with 46 percent of its 61 workers coming from the nearing retirement group. Only 11 percent of retail trade’s 54 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.
Sherman County employed 673 workers in 2016 and adults in their prime working years represented 61 percent or 410. Transportation and warehousing employed the greatest number of prime working age adults, with 88 in 2016. Construction employed 69 prime working age adults in 2016, with that group holding a 77 percent share. At the other end of the spectrum, public administration employed 30 workers in their prime years, representing 49 percent.

Young Workers

Young workers represented 12 percent of Sherman County’s 673 workers, with 81 employed in 2016. Accommodation and food services led all industries, employing 28 workers ages 14 to 24 to produce a 23 percent share. Transportation and warehousing employed 18 young workers, followed by retail trade with 14. There were no young workers employed in public administration, education services or health care and social assistance.


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