Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oregon's Decline in Labor Force Participation Due Largely to Aging Population

Oregon’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) fell to 61.4 percent in 2013.  This means that nearly 4-in-10 (38.6%) Oregonians ages 16 and above were not in the civilian labor force. There are a number of reasons why individuals don't participate in the labor force, including retirement, disability, and other personal needs.

The aging of Oregon’s population explains roughly half of the decline in Oregon’s LFPR since 2000. At the beginning of 2000, 15.8 percent of Oregon’s civilian noninstitutional population ages 16 and older were not in the labor force because they were retired. By March 2014, 20.8 percent (ages 16 and above) were not in the labor force due to retirement. 

The share of Oregonians (ages 16 and above) not participating in the labor force because of disability has increased from 3.1 percent in the beginning of 2004 to 5.5 percent in March 2014. 

The "other" category in the graph below refers to those not in the labor force even though they aren't retired or disabled. People ages 16 to 24 that fall in this category are typically not in the labor force because they are enrolled in school. Individuals ages 25 to 54 are typically not in the labor force because the are taking care of their house or family. 

For more on Oregon's labor force participation rate, read our full report: Oregon’s Falling Labor Force Participation: A Story of Baby Boomers, Youth, and the Great Recession

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