Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


Yun Kim


This study deals with labor force projections for the State of Utah, counties and multi-county areas, by age and sex for the years 1980, 1990, and 2000, using the technique of cohort analysis for long-range labor force projections. The study also examines some social and economic implications of labor force projections for Utah.

The labor force projections were derived from the age and sex population projections being prepared for the State of Utah and Utah counties by Yun Kim and Therel R. Black, Utah State University.

In order to project the future labor force of Utah, an analysis of historic and prospective trends of labor force participation rates affecting various age and sex categories for Utah, Utah counties and multi-county areas between 1960 and 1970 was conducted.

Since the trends in labor force participation by age and sex of the United States and Utah in 1960 and 1970 so closely paralleled, it was decided to project the future participation rates for Utah to 2000 based on the projected participation rates for the United States made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using the year 1970 as the base period of projection, relative ratios calculated between the United States and Utah's labor force participation rates by age and sex in 1970 made possible the estimation of Utah's projected labor force in 1980 by taking the ratios times the United States projected 1980 participation rates. Similarly, using the ratios between the counties and multi-county areas' projected participation rates in 1980 by multiplying the newly calculated ratios with the State of Utah's projected 1980 labor force participation rates. Then the labor force participation rates were applied to the projected 1980 population figures for the counties, multi-county areas, and the state, by age-sex categories to arrive at the projected labor force for 1980. The same procedure was repeated to obtain the projected labor force in 1990 and 2000.

Several basic assumptions were made concerning the labor force projections for Utah: (1) the trends in the relative differences of the labor force participation rates between the state and counties will continue as observed in 1970; (2) the unemployment rates for the State of Utah will average around 5.5 percent of the labor force; (3) the economic activity and development in Utah will continue at levels comparable to those found in 1970, avoiding any major recessions; (4) the direction of the past trend in labor force participation rates of the various age-sex groups in the United States and Utah will continue; (5) the Bureau of Labor Statistics' projected labor force participation rates for the United States in 1985 will remain basically the same in 1990, and (6) the trends in the projected labor force participation rates for the United states between 1980 and 1990 will continue to the year 2000.

The calculations of the labor force showed that, throughout the projection period of 1970 to 2000, the size of the total labor force of Utah increased by j361,242 workers or 89.2 percent as compared to the 1970 level of 404,798 workers. This represented an increase of 97,920 workers from 1970 to 1980, 100,823 workers from 1980 to 1990; and 162,499 workers from 1990 to 2000. From 1970 to the year 2000 the working age population increased by an estimated 590,036.

The projected labor force in the decade from 1970 to 1980 showed a dramatic increase in growth for both males and females: 34,727 workers for the age class of 25 to 34 years. Increases in the projected labor force were observed for all other age groups, except for males and females aged 16 to 17 years. The overall participation rates for those 16 years and over in the state declined for both males and females, although the state had labor force increases over the previous decade of about 25 percent for males and 22 percent for females.

Projected labor force growth between 1980 and 1990 was slower than during the previous decade and was more concentrated in a few age groups. The Slowdown was due to the declines in the number of births in the 1960's. The age category of 25 to 34 years experienced heavy growth, and the combined age categories of 25 to 34 years and 35 to 44 years included over half of all workers in the state. Most of the remaining workers were concentrated in the age group 45 to 64 years, The state experienced smaller increases in projected labor force growth, 20 percent for both males and females, Similar trends were evident for the counties and multi-county areas.

Throughout the entire projection period, expected trends portrayed in labor force participation rates were the declining participation of younger males because of schooling and of older males because of earlier retirement, The most dramatic trend for females was the continuing movement of married women into paid employment, Generally, the participation rates showed stabilizing trends for males, while females showed increasing rates from 1970 through 2000.

A further need exists for projections of Utah's labor force using additional information and industrial and occupational categories.

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