NWFL Labor Participation
Labor Force Participation Rates Vary Across NWFL Coastal Counties
Labor force participation rate is the percentage of civilian population 16 years and older that is working or actively looking for work. The labor force participation rate is used to gauge the relative amount of labor available in the market.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following the 2000’s there was a decline in labor force participation from age groups 16 to 19 years and 20 to 54 years. The most dramatic declines occurred among teenagers and women who did not attend college. The labor force participation rate of men and women 55 years and older are beginning to level off after a sudden increase.
The charts and tables above show the labor force participation rate in five counties in the Northwest Florida: Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton. The participation rates are categorized by age group, men and women, education attainment and poverty level to examine the labor resources within each county.
The United States Census Bureau collected information to report the labor force participation rate of the population that was 16 years and older. The table includes the percentages for four counties. Walton County was not reported because the number of sample cases within the geographical area was too small but is included in the dashboard to maintain consistency (refer to dashboard).
Escambia County had the highest labor force participation rate of 51.6% in the 16 to 19 years age group. This is 14% higher than the lowest rate in Bay County rate of 37.6% in this age group. Overall the labor force participation rate from age groups between 20 to 54 years old ranged from 70% to 85% across the four counties.
For age group 55 to 59 years, all counties’ percentage rates began to decline except in Santa Rosa County where this age group increased by 1.6%. Okaloosa County had the highest labor force participation rate for age groups 65 to 74 years at 24.1% and 75 years and over at 6.3%. In contrast, Escambia County had the lowest rate for 65 to 74 years at 17.7%, and Santa Rosa County had the lowest rate for 75 years and older a 4.0%.
As shown in the chart and graph above, the United States Census Bureau collected information to report the labor force participation rate of the population that was 16 years and older by sex and the age of children. Walton County’s “male” and “Female” categories were not reported because the number of sample cases within the geographical area is too small.
As reported, males have a higher participation rate in the labor force than females in all of the counties presented. Okaloosa had the highest male percentage rate of 83.2% among the four counties. In contrast Santa Rosa had the lowest male percentage rate of 76.3%. The highest percentage rate of female participation among the four counties was 73.2% in Bay County, and the lowest percentage rate was 68.6% in Escambia County.
As demonstrated in the dashboard above, Bay County had the highest rates of labor force percentage among the five counties in all categories, except in “Female” and “Male,” with percentages ranging from 73.2% to 79.1%. Walton County had the lowest rates of labor force percentage among the 5 counties in all categories, except in “Female” and “Male,” ranging from 53.4% to 66.6%. Escambia County had the second lowest percentage rate in “Women with children under 18 years” with 68.5%, and the second lowest rate in “Women with children under 6 years only” with 63.0%. Santa Rosa had the second lowest percentage rate of 55.1% in “Women with children under 6 years” and “6 to 17 years.”
Okaloosa County had the highest labor force participation rate among the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher with 85.0%. In contrast Walton County had the lowest percentage rate of 69.0%. Similarly, in the high school graduate populations, Okaloosa had the highest percentage rate of 75.5%, and Walton had the lowest rate of 66.5%. Santa Rosa and Escambia had net lower percentage rates of 67.6% and 69.4%, respectively. Labor force participation rates of populations with less than a high school graduate education had varying rates. Santa Rosa had the lowest percentage rate of 34.0%, the next lowest rate was 49.9% in Walton County. Bay and Escambia had the highest percentage rate of 55.0% and 54.3%, respectively.
Among the five counties; the percentage of population ranged from 35.1% to 48.4%. The two counties with the lowest percentages were Santa Rosa, 35.1%, and Walton, 37.0%. Escambia County had the highest percentage of 48.4% of the labor force participation rate below poverty level.
According to the dashboard above, the five counties labor force participation rate percentage for the population at or above poverty level range from 77.5% to 82.4%. Okaloosa County had the highest percentage of labor force participation rate of 82.4%. Walton County in comparison had the lowest percentage of 77.5%.