The following is a labor market and industry/sector profile for Sierra County, California. This is an update to a prior version of the County Labor Market Profiles that were completed in the summer of 2017, which were completed using 2016 labor market data.
The quantitative data for the profile includes a geographic overview, demographic
and labor force characteristics, industry analysis, occupation analysis, and labor
force data. For the profile, the project team collected and analyzed data from
Economic Modeling Specialists Int’l. (EMSI), U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though 2019 is the current calendar year, 2018 labor market data are utilized as these represent the latest full calendar year of data available from federal statistical agencies.
The following are some of the most pertinent information and statistics uncovered in the process of creating this report.
Social and Demographic Highlights
- Population growth in Sierra County significantly trails rates for California and the United States. Over the prior ten years, population decreased by 11% for Sierra County while population increased by 9% for the state and 8% for the nation.
- Sierra County has experienced a decline in all age cohorts with the exception of those 65 years and older since 2008. Over the next ten years, the pace of the decline will not be as fast as the last ten years, but it will continue.
- The percentage of individuals in Sierra County with some college is higher than those in the NoRTEC region, California, and U.S., but trails the NoRTEC region in those with an Associate’s degree.
- Sierra County experiences a net loss of talent due to out-commuting. Though 200 individuals both live and work in the County, 645 live in the County and work elsewhere.
- The median household income in Sierra County is $44,190. The poverty rate, 12.3% is the second lowest of all counties in the NoRTEC region as is the percentage of individuals enrolled in CalFresh benefits (8.5%).
- As of December 2018, there were 1,243 individuals in the Sierra County labor force, of which 70 were unemployed.
- Since the 2016 version of this report was released, the Sierra County economy has contracted at an average annual rate of 1.6%. The sectors Construction, and Government had the largest decreases. These sectors lost a combined 37 jobs, over 85% of the county’s net job loss. Meanwhile, the sectors of Health Care & Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services saw the largest increases over the past two years.
• Between 2016 and 2018, Sierra County’s population remained constant. Although population remained stable, certain population groups expanded while others contracted. The highest growth age groups included those ages 70 to 74 years, and those age 50 to 54 years saw the largest decrease. The highest growth race/ethnicity group was White Hispanics, while White, Non- Hispanics saw the largest decrease.
Industry & Occupation Highlights
- Sierra County’s largest industry sectors include Government; Accommodation and Food Services; Construction; and Retail Trade. Government has more jobs than the next six sectors combined.
- Industries adding the most jobs in Sierra County over the last five years include Accommodation and Food Services (21 jobs); Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (11 jobs); and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (5 jobs).
- Individual (4-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code) industries with strong growth prospects for the county include: Individual and Family Services (17 jobs); Services to Buildings and Dwellings (9 jobs); and Traveler Accommodation (5 jobs).
- As Sierra County’s population 65 years and over continue to grow, the number of jobs in healthcare-related industries to serve their needs is limited. This may have an impact on the county’s quality of life as the population continues to age and lifesaving resources become limited.