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Friday, January 17, 2020

Oregon Ranks 10th in Rate of In-Migration from 2018 to 2019


On December 30, 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau released state population change estimates from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. Oregon ranked 10th in rate of net in-migration. 

Here is how Oregon ranked in other published categories: 

27th in population as of July 1, 2019  (4,217,737)
15th in population growth since 2018 (35,851)
13th in population growth rate since 2018 (0.9%)
11th net in-migration since 2018 (29,116)
10th in net in-migration rate per 1,000 people since 2018 (6.9%)
31st in natural increase since 2018 (6,742)
37th in natural increase rate per 1,000 people since 2018 (1.6%)

To learn more, view the detailed population tables here

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Wage Disparity by Race and Ethnicity

Over the last decade, the wage disparity by race and ethnicity in Oregon has remained consistent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD), Asian and non-Hispanic white workers have the highest wages. In 2018, wages for black, American Indian, mixed-race, and Hispanic or Latino workers of any race ranged between $39,000 and $45,000 annually – at least $10,000 less than white workers and $20,000 less than Asian workers.

However, real wages have grown faster for Hispanic and Latino and black workers than for non-Hispanic white workers. On average, real wages for Oregon workers grew 13.1 percent from 2008 to 2018, an increase of $6,256. American Indian workers have seen the lowest real wage growth of 11.8 percent in the last decade. Real wages for all other racial and ethnic groups grew by at least 14 percent. Asian workers have seen the most real wage growth at 27 percent, an increase of $14,160 in their annual average wages.

This wage disparity is due in part to the industries of employment for each racial and ethnic group. The largest industry of employment for all groups is education and health services, with an annual average wage of $51,550 in 2018. However, the breakdown of employment after this industry varies. In aggregate, the second most common industry of employment for people of color is leisure and hospitality, which had the lowest annual average wages in 2018 ($22,754). In contrast, the second most common industry of employment for non-Hispanic white workers is professional and business services, with an annual average wage of $69,800. Manufacturing, which has one of the highest annual average wages in the state ($70,652), employs 18 percent of Asian workers, which may help explain Asian workers’ higher incomes.

Educational attainment is also a factor. The 2018 American Community Survey reported that 36 percent of non-Hispanic whites over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 27 percent of people of color. However, 51 percent of Asian residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the highest of any race or ethnicity. Typically, those with higher education qualify for higher-paying jobs, which also factors into the higher annual average wages for Asian and non-Hispanic white workers.

As Oregon’s population continues to diversify, these patterns may change. Positive changes may depend on increasing access to education for people of color and creating pathways to employment in higher-wage fields.

To learn more, read economist Sarah Cunningham's full article here

Friday, January 3, 2020

Wage Inequality in Oregon: A Wide Gap

Over the past 28 years, the distribution of wage income in Oregon has continued to become more unequal. In 2018, employees who worked all four quarters of the year earned a total of nearly $89.3 billion in covered wages, an inflation-adjusted increase of more than $47 billion since 1990. The number of four-quarter workers rose by 63 percent during that time period, with the average four-quarter inflation-adjusted wage rising from $43,000 to $56,100. The gains in wage income, however, have not been evenly shared by all workers. High-wage workers' slice of the wage pie has increased in size, while that of low- and middle-wage workers has shrunk.

In 1990, the median wage of the top 1 percent of all four-quarter workers was 7 times that of the median for all four-quarter workers at an inflation-adjusted $250,800. By 2018, wages for the top 1 percent workers increased by 52 percent to $380,500. Meanwhile, the median wage for all workers increased just 14 percent over the same period. In 2018, the median wage of the top 1 percent of workers was 9 times the median for all workers ($40,979).





To learn more, read Special Projects Analyst Barbara Peniston's full article here.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Oregon Employment Forecast: Slow and Stable

Entering its eleventh year, the U.S. economic expansion is now the longest in recorded history. Growth slowed in 2019, and the burning question is why? Economic weakness – foretelling a recession – or simply what one might expect in such a mature expansion?

The answer likely lies somewhere in between. Business investment has been weak to nonexistent over the past year. The trade war, tariffs, slowing global growth, and the political climate have hurt sales and created an atmosphere of uncertainty. On the other hand, incomes are rising, inflation is low, and consumer spending is strong. In addition, the economy is at, or near, full employment, which also explains the subdued job growth.

The bottom line is that the U.S. economy remains in expansion mode and while the slowdown in business spending is cause for concern, it does not necessarily portend an imminent recession.

Oregon

Like the nation, Oregon continues to add jobs at a slower pace as our economy transitions from the peak rates of a few years ago to a more sustainable pace today. Oregon’s slowdown points more to labor supply constraints than to economic weakness, according to the latest forecast from the Office of Economic Analysis (OEA). Employers have a dwindling pool to draw from when trying to fill jobs, thus dampening what might have been more robust job creation.
Meanwhile income is rising. In 2018, Oregon’s median household income grew faster than every state except Idaho. After decades of lagging the nation, OEA points out that the typical Oregonian’s household income is now 2.4 percent higher than their national counterparts.

Like the nation, the outlook is positive. OEA expects the state will add 28,200 jobs in 2020 (1.5%), or 2,400 jobs a month; about the same as in 2019. While this is significantly slower than the 4,000-to-5,000 jobs per month of a few years ago, it is enough to absorb new workers entering the labor force given our decelerating population growth.

The public sector will outperform its recent past across most components: Local government will grow as revenues continue to improve in step with the economy, and the federal component will benefit from Census hiring. Private education and health services also accelerates, primarily the healthcare component as our population continues to grow and age. Professional and business services rebounds from its recent slump and adds more jobs than all other broad industries.

OEA expects several industries to slow or lose jobs in 2020. The manufacturing sector turns negative, weighed down by trade issues, global risks, and the announced closure of two NORPAC food processing plants. Construction also decelerates even as the housing rebound continues; growth rates topping 8 percent in recent years are simply unsustainable. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector settles down after the Amazon surge of the past few years, which saw thousands of jobs created in the warehousing component.

While growth should continue in 2020, the next recession is a matter of when, not if. Outside of unforeseen financial or geopolitical shocks, it is unlikely to happen within the next year.

To learn more, read Regional Economist Amy Vander Vliet's full article here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

November 2019 Employment and Unemployment in Oregon’s Counties

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 3.1 percent in November 2019. Other counties with some of the lowest unemployment rates in November included Washington (3.2%), Hood River (3.3%), and Multnomah (3.4%). These four counties had unemployment rates below the national rate of 3.5 percent. Nine of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 3.9 percent.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all six of Oregon’s broad regions between November 2018 and November 2019. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+2.5%). Southern Oregon (+1.7%), the Portland area (+1.0%), the Coast (+0.7%), Eastern Oregon (+0.6%), and the Willamette Valley (+0.6%) saw employment growth over the past year.

Read the full press release here

Friday, December 20, 2019

Oregon General Merchandise Stores – Surviving the “Retail Apocalypse”

Retail market analysts love talking about the retail apocalypse, i.e. the imminent death of brick and mortar stores thanks to the Internet and Amazon. However, retail trade is a large and diverse sector, and oversimplified predictions may not accurately portray some of its segments.

In 2018, retail trade employment reached 211,066 or about one out of 10 jobs in Oregon. After food and beverage stores, general merchandise stores (GMS) were the second largest employer in retail trade with 41,340 jobs.

General merchandise stores include department stores, warehouse clubs, superstores and other general merchandise stores. Establishments in this subsector are unique in that they have the equipment and staff capable of retailing a large variety of goods from a single location.

Employment in General Merchandise Stores Remained Solid in Recession

During the infamous recession from 2007 to 2010, total employment in Oregon declined by about 8 percent, with some industries like construction suffering severe job losses. Remarkably, employment in GMS declined by less than 1 percent between 2007 and 2010. In fact, employment in GMS continued to grow until late 2008, dropped by 2010, and rebounded to exceed the pre-recession peak in 2011.

Among the three top retail employers in Oregon, general merchandise stores and food and beverage stores weathered the recession well. In contrast, employment levels in motor vehicle and parts dealers, the third largest retail employer, dropped by nearly 20 percent during the recession, recovered slowly, and remains at about 2001 levels to this day.

Employment in general merchandise stores increased from 36,682 in 2001 to 41,340 jobs in 2018. The rate of growth in GMS was 12.7 percent compared with 20.3 percent in all industries.

Employment in General Merchandise Stores Depends on Population Growth

While Amazon is trying to enter into the groceries side of retail, most consumers still require convenient access to food and every day household items where they live and work. Regardless of economic ups and downs, people must spend a certain portion of their income on food and household supplies. Consumers need fresh and perishable items frequently, and most of them will not travel long distances nor wait for Internet companies to deliver their loaf of bread or the right garbage bags. In addition, an increasing number of consumers prefer locally produced food and other everyday items.

Consequently, parts of retail trade generally follow demographic trends and that tends to make their employment base less volatile compared with other industries with different business cycles. In the past decade and a half, Oregon’s population increased by about 1 percent per year, and, no surprise, the jobs in general merchandise stores trailed that steady rate of growth.

However, in the markets defined and even confined by demographics, the main challenge for industries such as GMS is still competition. Only those general stores able to interpret and follow the ever-changing consumer preferences can ensure their own staying power in this highly competitive environment.

General Merchandise Stores Are Likely to Remain in Our Neighborhoods

According to the Oregon Employment Department’s employment projections for 2017 to 2027, employment in general merchandise stores will increase by 12 percent. The rate of growth is faster than the 9 percent for retail trade overall and only slightly slower than the 13 percent for all private industries. So, GMS certainly do not seem to be facing the “retail demise” just yet.

Even if Internet companies succeed in selling many kinds of standard groceries online, the brick and mortar stores can still offer a complete shopping experience, focused on fresh, local, or more specialized products right in our neighborhoods. As long as enough customers continue to enjoy live shopping with real sales people available to assist and advise, general merchandise stores will remain a vital part of our communities.

To learn more, read workforce analyst Tony Wendel's full article here.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.9 Percent in November

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in November, the lowest on comparable records dating back to 1976. The October unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, as revised from the originally reported figure of 4.1 percent. Oregon’s November rate was slightly above the U.S. rate of 3.5 percent. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been hovering at historical lows of near 4 percent for the past 37 months.

Meanwhile, total nonfarm payroll employment shot up by 6,300 jobs in November, following an upwardly revised gain of 6,500 jobs in October. October was revised upward by 2,100 jobs.

So far in 2019, monthly employment gains have averaged 2,600 jobs, which is slightly slower than in 2018 when monthly growth averaged 3,000 jobs. The tight labor market, and perhaps the unusually mild and dry weather in November, seem to have influenced seasonal trends in the major industries. Industries that normally shed a lot of workers during the autumn months didn’t cut back as much as normal. In November, the following industries cut back less than normal, and therefore posted seasonally adjusted job gains: construction (+2,200 jobs), manufacturing (+1,900 jobs), and professional and business services (+1,400 jobs).

On the flip side, the tight labor market may have inhibited certain industries from hiring as many workers as normal in November. Government and retail trade both normally add a substantial number of jobs in November, but each industry hired a few hundred jobs fewer than normal for the month.
Read the full press release here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Unwrapping Holiday Hiring: From Bricks to Clicks

Retailers and package delivery companies rely on the holiday season to provide an end-of-year boost in sales that makes operating during the rest of the year worthwhile. Some businesses hire extra workers, often on a temporary basis, to get them through this busy time of year. In 2018, the number of jobs added by “holiday hiring” industries with strong holiday employment patterns was lower than average. The season’s traditional holiday buildup was smaller than usual among retailers. The new leaders in holiday hiring are couriers and messengers (UPS, FedEx, etc.), postal services, and health and personal care stores.

Oregon’s job buildup in industries with strong holiday employment patterns was 8,929 (or 7%) in 2018, which was lower than the average buildup of more than 11,200 (9%) since 2001. The “holiday buildup” is one way to measure holiday hiring activity. The holiday buildup table shows the net job gain in industries where employment grows during the holiday season and is cut soon after the New Year. Holiday buildups since 2001 ranged from a high of about 15,000 (13%) in 2005 to a financial crisis-induced low of less than half that in 2008. The October through December jobs buildup in the holiday hiring industries that year fell to 7,077, just 6 percent more than September’s level and far below the historical average buildup of 9 percent. Holiday hiring in 2018 was close to the lows seen in 2008 and 2009.



Bricks to Clicks

The data above can seem a little scary. Are we heading towards the next recession? Are employers having so much trouble finding workers during a time of low unemployment that hiring has slowed? It is possible, and these two factors could both be happening and impacting holiday hiring together. However, slow holiday hiring could also be attributed to the changing nature of retail. The holiday hiring retail industries included in this article are based on the March 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics article Holiday Season Hiring in Retail Trade, with jobs at postal services (both private and federal) and couriers and messengers added to give a more complete picture of industries with strong holiday hiring patterns.

In the past 10 years, technology has advanced quickly and online shopping has expanded, impacting the economy greatly. Everything from groceries to holiday presents can be ordered online and delivered within days, if not hours. It is highly possible that because more people are doing their shopping online, traditional “brick and mortar” retailers do not need to hire as much as they did in previous holiday seasons and industries more closely related with “e-commerce” are hiring more workers.

To analyze this, the traditional holiday hiring industries can be divided between brick and mortar industries and e-commerce industries, and a sector that has been booming in Oregon recently, warehousing and storage, can be added to the e-commerce mix. Industries in the warehousing and storage subsector are primarily engaged in operating warehousing and storage facilities for general merchandise, refrigerated goods, and other warehouse products. These establishments provide facilities to store goods.

When the warehousing and storage sector is added, the picture of holiday hiring looks completely different. In total, holiday hiring (the buildup of employment between September and December) looks steady from 2010 (post Great Recession) on, with holiday hires ranging from 10,298 in 2013 to 12,180 in 2014. What is really changing is the percentage of holiday hiring that falls in the brick and mortar areas as compared with the e-commerce areas. In 2001, 74.7 percent of holiday hiring took place in the sectors found in the brick and mortar category and by 2010, it represented 68.9 percent. However, in 2018 traditional brick and mortar holiday hiring represented only 43.8 percent, while e-commerce hiring had grown to 56.2 percent of all holiday hiring. Holiday hiring is still happening at similar levels as before, it just appears to be happening in different sectors.

2019’s Wish List
Holiday buildups inevitably lead to corresponding post-holiday declines in the number of workers needed as businesses adjust back to the usual sales pace. As a group, the holiday hiring industries are growing slower than the overall economy. This suggests that not all of the jobs added in the 2019 holiday season will stick around in 2020.

It’s difficult to know what future seasonal hiring patterns of retailers will be as consumers make more of their purchases online. We won’t know how this season’s holiday hiring compares with prior years until sometime in the New Year, but a peek at the employment forecast provides a hint about what the future will bring. The September 2019 employment forecast from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) expects Oregon’s retail trade employment to grow in the fourth quarter of 2019 by just 400 jobs. OEA expects the transportation, warehousing, and utilities industry to remain unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2019. These forecasts are for the entire retail trade sector and much more than warehousing and storage in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities industry, not just the industries with a lot of holiday hiring, but the implication is that the holiday buildup will be below average this year in these areas.

Read Economist Anna Johnson's full article here.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Worker Access to Paid Leave Benefits in the United States

In the United States, 76 percent of workers have access to paid sick leave through their employers. The same share has access to paid vacation (76%) and a slightly higher share have paid holidays (78%). This access varies between the public and private sectors. In private industry, 73 percent of workers have access to paid sick leave and four out of five workers have access to paid vacation and paid holidays. Among state and local government employees, access to paid sick leave (91%) far outweighs access to paid vacation and holidays (61% and 68%, respectively).

These figures come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey, which includes very little detail at the sub-national level. Oregon is grouped with the Pacific West region, which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. Access to paid leave benefits is a bit more widespread in this area of the country compared with the national average. Nine out of 10 workers in the Pacific West region have access to paid sick leave. Pacific West workers are also more likely to have access to paid holidays (80%) and to paid vacation (80%) than the national average.

Nationally, workers with the lowest wages also have the least access to paid leave benefits through their employers. Access to paid sick leave has a direct positive relationship with earnings, with each step up in earnings quartile matched by improved access to paid sick leave. In contrast, for paid vacation and paid holidays, this relationship only holds for the shift between the third quartile, with the highest quartile of earners having about as much access to paid vacation and paid holidays as the second 25 percent.
The size of the employer also influences the availability of paid leave benefits. This is especially true in the private sector, while public-sector workers have a tighter range based on employer size. In the private sector, access to paid vacation and holidays improves as the employer size increases – workers at large employers are more likely to have access to these paid leaves than workers at smaller employers. In the public sector, there’s little variation in the availability of paid vacation and holidays by size; workers at smaller government establishments are about as likely as workers at the largest government establishments to be able to enjoy these forms of paid leave.
Overall, it is access to paid sick leave that varies the most by employer size. Sixty-four percent of the workforce of the smallest employers – those with fewer than 50 employees – have access to paid sick leave, while 91 percent of workers at large employers with more than 500 workers have access to paid sick leave. Among the private-sector workforce, access to paid sick leave ranges from 64 percent of workers at the smallest employers to 89 percent of workers at the largest employers. Among the public-sector workforce, 85 percent of workers at the smallest employers had paid sick leave, compared with 93 percent of workers at the largest employers.

In the United States, most workers have access to at least some paid leave through their employers. This access improves with full-time work and access is the greatest for the high-wage workforce and the workforce of large employers.


To learn more, read economist Jessica Nelson's full article here

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Oregon Construction Employment at Record Highs

Oregon’s construction industry reached a record high number of jobs in recent months, employing an average of 108,000 during the 12 months ending with October 2019. The industry added jobs steadily and rapidly in recent years, following a prolonged slump in 2009 through 2012, when employment remained near 70,000 for several years after the last recession.

Looking back 30 years, clearly the industry has been highly cyclical – experiencing booms and busts over the course of multi-year expansions that were followed by briefer, but potentially precipitous contractions.
In the late 1990s, the industry hovered close to 80,000 jobs for several years, dropped some jobs in a mild recession and then resumed its climb. Just before the 2008 recession, Oregon’s construction industry was slightly below today’s employment total, at about 104,000 jobs.

During the past several decades, at least since the late 1980s, Oregon’s economy and population have been on a generally expansionary trend. Population typically grew about 1 percent per year, primarily due to net in-migration – more people moving into Oregon compared with the number moving out.

Because the population has been steadily expanding, it can be helpful to look at the construction industry’s total jobs relative to overall employment. Over the past 30 years, construction has employed between 4 percent and 6 percent of Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment. The lowest share during this period occurred in 1992, when 4 percent were employed in construction. Not far behind was the period from 2010 through 2012 when about 4.2 percent of payroll jobs were found in construction.

The housing-price boom leading up to the last recession coincided with the biggest share of construction jobs, as construction employed 6 percent of all nonfarm payroll jobs during much of 2006 and 2007. Currently, Oregon’s construction industry isn’t quite as concentrated as that period, with 5.5 percent of nonfarm jobs in the industry as of October of this year. This is moderately above the 4.9 percent average over the past 30 years.

Leading up to the past two national recessions, Oregon’s construction employment has either trended downward, as was the case in 1997 through 2000, or abruptly tanked, as occurred just prior to, and certainly during, the recession of 2008 and 2009. Over the past 12 months, the industry has stalled at a high level of employment, following rapid growth over the past several years.

One of the reasons that the current economic expansion – both in Oregon and at the national level – has been so long and persistent is due to the pattern of housing starts. In the several years immediately following the last recession, building permits and housing starts were very low by historic standards. The low level of residential construction activity and spending was a limiting factor for economic growth, given that new-home building is a major component of change in the overall dollar value of economic activity for a region. In Oregon, residential building permits (single-family and multi-family combined) stagnated near an average monthly rate of 600 during 2009 through 2011, but have since climbed to the current rate of 1,700 per month. Despite the near-tripling of monthly housing permits in the time span, we’re still well below peak levels seen during several periods during the 1990s and mid-2000s, not to mention the house-building boom in the late 1970s, when building permit activity was double the current level.

Construction activity includes more than just building homes and apartments. There is road construction and commercial construction, as well as remodeling and other forms of construction employment. This brief article looked at the trends over time in residential building permits, as they are a key measurement that is readily available to assess Oregon’s construction industry.

Overall, Oregon’s construction employment trends indicate that we are currently experiencing booming times in the industry. Oregon has gone through several cycles in the construction industry over the past several decades. Our current situation, while near a record high in terms of overall construction jobs, is not running at as frenzied a pace as has been seen in the past, at least when measured relative to the state’s ever-growing population.

Read Current Employment Statistics Coordinator David Cooke's full article here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

In this time of gratitude, we give thanks to you – our readers! We are grateful to be able to provide you with quality information on Oregon’s labor market so that you can make informed choices about your career, business, policy, grant, or project. On behalf of all of us at the Oregon Employment Department, Happy Thanksgiving! For Thanksgiving, we're treating you with some fun facts related to Thanksgiving.

Countries celebrating Thanksgiving and similarly named holidays
Australia (Norfolk Island), Canada, Germany, Grenada, Japan, Liberia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

693
The number of supermarkets and other grocery (except convenience) stores in Oregon in 2018. These establishments are expected to be extremely busy around Thanksgiving as people prepare for their delightful meals.

61
The number of fruit and vegetable markets in Oregon in 2018 ─ a great place to find holiday side dishes.

1,639,970
The number of occupied housing units across Oregon in 2018 ─ potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner.

48,068
The number of multigenerational households in Oregon in 2018. It is possible these households, consisting of three or more generations, will have to purchase large quantities of food to accommodate all the family members sitting around the table for the holiday feast, even if there are no guests. 


240 million
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in the U.S. in 2019 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That is down 2.0 percent (245 million) from the number raised during 2018.

40 million
The forecasted number of turkeys raised in Minnesota in 2019. Minnesota is the top turkey producing state, followed by North Carolina (32.5 million), Arkansas (32.0 million), Indiana (21.5 million), Missouri (19.0 million), and Virginia (15.7 million).

27 million 
The total number of potatoes  another popular Thanksgiving side dish  harvested in Oregon in 2018. The value of potato harvest in Oregon was $194 million.

570,000 
The forecasted barrels of cranberries produced in Oregon in 2019. Oregon ties for third in the nation for cranberry production.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Working Over Time: Workers 65 and Older in Oregon

In the last few decades, the number of people who work later than the “traditional retirement age” of 65 has grown substantially. In fact, the population of workers in their 60s and 70s has been the fastest growing segment of the labor force in the last 10 years.



The number of workers 65 and older in Oregon has more than quadrupled since 1992. People 65 and older now make up nearly 7 percent of all workers, up from 2 percent 25 years ago.

While it’s true our population is getting older overall with the aging of the large baby boomer generation, the rate at which older people participate in the labor force is increasing as well, from a low of about 10 percent in the mid-90s to nearly 20 percent in recent years. That means about one out of five people 65 and older have a job or are unemployed and looking for work.

This trend is likely to continue: the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nationally, the over-65 population is the only age group that will see a substantial increase in their workforce participation rates from 2018 to 2028.


Choice or Necessity?

Is an increase in older workers a cause for celebration or alarm? As is the case with so many economic questions, the best answer is probably, it depends.

Some people are working longer because they can. As Americans stay healthy and live longer, many see no reason to stop doing work they enjoy, especially since many jobs are less physically taxing than they used to be.

Another explanation is that people continue to work past 65 out of economic necessity. Fixed retirement income may not be enough to cover costs. Nationally, people in the bottom half of the income distribution are likely not to have any retirement savings, with Social Security often replacing only about 40 to 50 percent of pre-retirement income. Increasing housing and health care costs in many areas of Oregon are likely to create money pressures among the aging population that could keep them in the labor market.

Structural changes in retirement policies interact with these individual circumstances as well. Increases in labor force participation for older Americans coincide with increases in the minimum retirement age for full Social Security benefits. There has also been a large-scale shift by businesses from defined benefit to defined contribution retirement plans for their employees, which shift the risk of retirement investments from employers to workers.

To learn more, read workforce analyst Henry Field's full article here.