Coming and Going: Lane County Job Flows

by Henry Fields

March 10, 2020

There are many ways to track data on population change, but one of the most interesting is the Census Job-to-Job Flows Explorer. The tool looks at people who leave one job and almost immediately enter another.

The advantage of job-to-job flows is that they focus specifically on the workforce. People are often concerned in Lane County about the role that retired people or students play in our migration numbers, and those who move quickly from one job to the next are much less likely to be in those categories.
For the above graph, I looked at Lane County’s average quarterly in- and outflow with other areas of the country for the last three years of data. The orange bars represent people who left a job in Lane County for one in another area, and the blue bars are the people who started a job in Lane after working somewhere else.

The green or red box at the end of the bars represents the difference between these two – on average, whether each quarter more workers from that location move in (green) or out (red).

Consistent with other data sources, the number of movers is largest between Lane and other areas of Oregon, and the net flow of workers is outward to most Oregon metros, as well as Seattle. Net, we attract more workers from rural Oregon, as well as a large and diverse group of metros from outside the state.

However, these net flows represent nothing more than subtracting leavers from entrants. It may be that certain types of workers are leaving and others are coming in. This is something I’ll look into in the future, but you can use the Explorer tool yourself to look closer at the industries or demographic categories of entering and exiting workers.

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