Economic Profile continued

Figure 4.4 - Chart Showing Employment by Industry in Pittsfield, Illinois Figure 4.5 - Chart Showing Total Full and Part-Time Employment for Pittsfield, IllinoisHowever as shown in Figure 4.4, there were substantial declines in manufacturing, construction and state and local government employment during the national economic depression of the 1980’s. While the latter two sectors have recovered along with the national economic recovery the manufacturing sector continues to decline as it does nationally.

This cycle of decline and recovery explain at least in part the total employment declines in the 1980’s and the 1990’s recovery as shown in Figure 4.5.

Labor Force Characteristics

In the year 2000 Pittsfield had a total labor force of 1,964 people and an unemployment rate of 3.8%. The labor force is defined as all persons 16 years of age or older that that worked or looked for work in the previous six months. Table 4.3 provides a summary of the labor force. An estimated 1,964 persons were in the labor force in Pittsfield in the year 2000 compared with an estimated labor force of 1,987 in 1990. With total population practically unchanged it is no surprise the labor force has remained almost constant. Because of the relatively old age profile for the city the proportion of persons in the labor force is low. The 58.9% participation rate is well below the Illinois average of 65.4%. Male and female workers are represented in nearly equal proportions in the labor force. Since 1990 the number and proportion of males in the labor force decreased while the number of females increased. The lack of growth in the labor force is an important economic development issue because labor availability is among the most important factors influencing new business location decisions.

Table 4.3: Labor Force Summary
Population 16 years and over 3,334 100%
In labor force 1,964 58.9%
Male 1,018 51.8%
Female 946 48.2%
Employed 1,890 56.7%
Unemployed 74 3.8%
Not in labor force 1,370 41.1%
Source: Census 2000, US Bureau of the Census

Table 4.4 summarizes recently released 2000 Census data describing the educational attainment for the adult population. Educational attainment levels are widely used as an indicator of the quality of the work force. Since 1990 the proportion of adults with high school and college degrees increased. In 2000 the proportion of persons with a high school degree was greater than the state average of 81.4% however the proportion of college graduates was only about one-half the Illinois average of 26.1%. This indicator is also influenced by the age profile – it is unlikely the 26% of the population over 65 years of age will be earning college degrees. Maintaining a strong education system and expanding opportunities for higher education in the community are crucial to expanding economic development opportunities.

Table 4.4: Educational Attainment
Population 25 years and over 2,949 100%
Less than 9th grade 289 9.8%
9th to 12th grade, no diploma 233 7.9%
High school graduate (includes equivalency) 1,144 38.8%
Some college, no degree 714 24.2%
Associate degree 165 5.6%
Bachelor’s degree 297 10.1%
Graduate or professional degree 107 3.6%
Percent high school graduate or higher 82.3 (X)
Percent bachelor’s degree or higher 13.7 (X)
Source: Census 2000, US Bureau of the Census

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