The labor force consists of two parts: those (ages 16 and up) who are employed, and those who do not have a job but are available to take a job, and have actively searched for one within the past four weeks. The labor force participation rate is the number of people in the labor force as defined above, divided by the total civilian (non-active military duty) noninstitutional (not in prison or the like) population ages 16 and older.
If you select one or more counties in the dynamic graph below, you can see the share of the population participating in the labor force for every year between 2000 and 2015.
In 2015, Hood River posted the highest labor force participation rate (75.5%) of any county in the state. The next-highest participation rates occurred in the Portland area: Washington County's rate was 67.4 percent, and Multnomah's was 66.0 percent. Hood River, Washington, and Multnomah counties also ranked among the top four counties in terms of labor force participation rates in 2000.
Hood River County's LFPR looked essentially the same in 2000 and 2015, but in most counties labor force participation rates dropped notably over the 15-year period. Multnomah County's participation rate fell by 7 percentage points, and Washington County's declined by nearly 10 points. Just three counties recorded higher labor force participation rates in 2015 than in 2000: Malheur, Sherman, and Wheeler.