Roseburg Workforce and Commuting Patterns

by Kelvin Valdovinos

May 11, 2020

Living in one town and working in another is a regular occurrence for Oregon’s rural workforce. The U.S. Census Bureau provides a web-based application, OnTheMap, containing valuable data on where workers live and where they are employed. Included within the reports are detailed characteristics such as: earnings, industry sector, race, age, ethnicity, workers’ educational attainment, and sex. OnTheMap provides a total of 51 characteristics to filter the analysis reports. The City of Roseburg had 13,591 private primary jobs within the city, based on the latest data available (2017). Seven out of 10 work in the area, but live outside the city of Roseburg.

As expected with more densely populated cities, it is common for nearby workers to commute for work. So, which neighboring cities or towns does Roseburg’s workforce come from? Out of the 13,591 workers in Roseburg, roughly 26.8 percent (3,645) are both employed and living within the city of Roseburg. Green, Oregon, a town six miles south of Roseburg, contributes 963 commuters. Sutherlin, a city 14 miles north of Roseburg, was the home of 723 commuters. All other locations supplied Roseburg with 47 percent of employed commuters or 6,329 workers.

The inflow/outflow analysis tool lets you examine different characteristics of those employed within the city of Roseburg. A total of 9,946 workers commute to Roseburg for work, and 41.5 percent earn $1,251 to $3,333 per month. Residents of Roseburg who commute outside of the city for work account for 4,166 persons. More than one-third (36.3%) of Roseburg residents commuting out of town for work earn more than $3,333 per month, compared with 30.4 percent of workers commuting into Roseburg for their jobs.
The majority of workers earning $1,250 per month or less fall under two education levels: those with a high school diploma or equivalent account for 20.3 percent of the lower-income earners, while those with some college or an associate’s degree under their belt account for 21.3 percent of the same cohort. For workers earning $1,251 to $3,333, the same educational attainment groups see a significant rise to 26.3 percent and 27.1 percent, respectively. While those earning $3,333 or more have comparable shares with high school, some college, or associate degrees, a considerably larger share of higher earning workers have a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree at 24.1 percent.
Health care and social assistance accounted for 28.2 percent of employed individuals within both public and private sector jobs. Retail trade, and administration and support had the second and third highest share, accounting for 16.5 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. Looking at the top five industries, they employed 10,043 individuals, or 74 percent of total employment in the city.
Looking at Census Bureau data (2017), Douglas County’s residents have a median age of 47.1 years old, sitting 7.8 years above Oregon’s median age. This age statistic makes sense, when more than 50 percent workers within Roseburg are between the ages of 30 to 54. Those 55 years or older make up a 24 percent share of the workforce. Nine out every 10 workers within the area identify their ethnicity as non-Hispanic or Latino origin. Those identifying themselves as two or more race groups maintain a 2.6 percent share, as individuals who identity as white alone compose 93.2 percent.

Data is readily available on where workers live and are employed from the Census OnTheMap website. This data is useful to transportation planners, economic developers, and other planners who can use this data to analyze how far employees are commuting, from what neighboring towns, their monthly earnings, and industries they are employed within. This information helps communities continue to improve their local towns or cities, and helps businesses look at their labor sheds and be informed about their employees’ commutes. There is a lot of information one can explore on this user-friendly and interactive tool. Please feel free to contact me if you have any difficulty accessing or using this data from the Census Bureau.

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