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Fun With Statistics

by Luke Greiner
luke.greiner@state.mn.us
September 2019

By now the conversations of changing demographics have reached far and wide. Organizations of all sorts are working to position themselves to ease the transition of baby boomers leaving our labor market. According the DEED’s Quarterly Employment Demographic data, parts of rural Minnesota depend to a larger degree on older workers, those 65 years or older. Mapping the share of jobs by county reveals how regional economic hubs, including the Twin Cities, might be better situated to withstand the loss of a large generation in the labor force. It’s likely that since these regional economic hubs have mostly been adding a healthy number of jobs over the past decade that they are filling newly created entry level jobs with young workers. Whereas counties with negative or very slow job growth have a relatively smaller share of new entry level jobs that young workers typically pursue with or without higher education. Even college grads usually start in entry level job.

The highest share of jobs held by young workers is mostly found in the collar counties to the north of the Twin Cities that have an abundance of communities with large numbers of young families. It’s also easy to see the impact that colleges have on rural communities by attracting young workers. Workers 20-to-24 hold a significantly larger share of employment in rural counties with colleges like Beltrami, Blue Earth, Clay, Lyon, St. Louis, Stearns, Stevens, and Winona Counties. Consequently the counties between those regional hubs, and counties with a college have a larger share of jobs held by workers 65 years or older.

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