Employment of Older Workers in NW Oregon Increased in Past 10 Years

by Shawna Sykes

October 9, 2018

Northwest Oregon’s employment grew by nearly 5 percent from 2007 to 2017, but that increase wasn’t shared by workers in every age group. In fact, employment for workers below 25 years old and those age 45 to 54 actually declined substantially in the time period.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators, annual average employment for the five-county (Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, and Tillamook) area grew from 85,626 in 2007 to 89,859 in 2017. In 2007, employment of 14 to 18-year-olds was 2,859 and made up about 3.3 percent of the area’s total employment. During the recession, employment of 14 to 18-year-olds fell by 47 percent to 1,507 in 2012. By 2017, youth employment in NW Oregon had grown to 2,206, still nearly 27 percent below the 2007 youth job count.
The story is similar for workers age 45 to 54. In 2007, there were 22,183 jobs held by workers age 45 to 54. Employment of people in this age group fell to a low of 17,902 by 2014. Since that time, employment of 45-to-54-year-olds has grown by just over 100, leaving the age group 19 percent below 2007 levels.

At the same time youth employment and employment of 45-to-54-year-olds was falling, employment of those 55 and over was growing within NW Oregon. In 2007, employment of those ages 55 and over was about 21 percent of all employment within the region. By 2017, the share of jobs held by workers 55 and over in NW Oregon had grown to nearly 27 percent.

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