The older worker

The Census Bureau is launching a series of state-by-state reports on the older worker, defined as 55 or older. Thirty-one states are participating. Minnesota’s analysis hasn’t been issued yet, but today Wisconsin’s report was issued.

Some factoids worth considering:

* Statewide, no individual industry sector employed more than 20 percent of workers who were 55 and older.

* Of all workers in the state 55 and older, 22.7 percent were employed in manufacturing. As our manufacturing base declines, this would suggest (at least to me) that the older worker is particularly vulnerable.

* In non-metropolitan areas, the utility industry was the biggest employer of 55-somethings. It’s also the highest paying, with an average $4,461 per month salary.

* The Wisconsin part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area breaks down this way in terms of the age and percentage of workers.

45-54 years old: 19.8 percent

55-64 years old: 9.7 percent

55-99 years old: 3 percent

65-99 years old: 12.7 percent

Our area — St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties — has the smallest percentage of “older workers” in the workforce.


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