Vilas Co. Given As Example Of Changing Northwoods Demographics

Apr 7, 2014

Credit Ian McKenzie

A state economist says Vilas county reflects changing demographics in the north. Those demographic changes could reflect a big change in the workforce.

Scott Hodek says if you look at Vilas county's demographics, in 2010, about 25 percent of the workforce was over 65 years old and likely retired....

"....the reason that is important is that roughly about (age)55...if we're looking at a graph of the labor force participatation rate, which is the rate where your plus-16(persons go into the workforce), that is like 26 percent. in 2010. That's pretty high, we're already over a quarter...."

Hodek says between 2035 and 2040, those years will find peak numbers of Baby Boomers in their retirement years.....

"'re looking at like 37 percent in Vilas county. In most of your listening area, at least a third of the county(population will be) 65 and older...."

But Hodek says another way to look at the aging demographics is there will be many more job openings as Boomers retire, but the Boomers will be around quite awhile.