Workforce in Erie County


Analysis Categories

What does this measure?

Workforce by Age Range, Educational Attainment, Race/Ethnicity, and Sex by ZIP code.

Why is this important?

It is important for local and prospective business entities to understand the workforce by these variables in order to understand the pool of talent and what surplus or deficit of individuals that the County presents, which may be felt by employers.

How is Erie County doing?


Of the working-aged population, 35- to 44-year-olds emerge as the highest participatory workforce at a 79.7% participation rate. The rate drops briefly among 30- to 34-year-olds at 72.7%, and falls with age accordingly after 35- to 45-year-olds.


Compared to the U.S., every race/ethnicity in Erie County has a lower labor force participation rate than their national average excepting for the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander demographic, which for Erie County (93.3%) is higher than the U.S. rate of 66.8%, although this demographic only accounted for 0.03% of Erie County's population in 2019.

Educational Attainment

In Erie County, workers without a high school degree or equivalent have a participation rate of only 46.9%, this percentage is far below the national average of 60.7%. The workforce participation rate for workers holding a bachelor's degree or higher was 87.3%, just above the national average of 86.7%.

Over Time

The workforce participation rate remained steady for the most part of the last decade, but since 2015 has fallen -1.6% in Erie County to 60.5% in 2019. The U.S. national workforce participation rate for 2019 was at 63.4%, and has only experienced a -0.4% drop during the same timeframe.

EVS Indicators

EVS analyzes the data in each topic category using indicators, which report a targeted and digestible number, rate, or amount to represent Erie County as a whole. While this does not cover every aspect of the topic, it assists in establishing Erie's performance relative to the prior year(s). The indicators for the Talent Workforce topic are:



This indicator measures the workforce participation rate across all demographic categories older than 16 in Erie County for latest data year, as a percentage. The labor force participation rate is a measure of the active portion of an  economy's labor force. The trend for workforce participation is slightly down and worse from 2018 to 2019, with a reported drop of -0.1% within the County.


This indicator measures the percentage of the population 25 years old or older of Erie County who possess a bachelors degree or higher for the latest data year. The world is increasingly producing high‐skilled jobs, our region's ability to compete with workers and economies worldwide is dependent on having an educated workforce. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce, about 70% of jobs require postsecondary education by 2018. The trend for Population with Bachelor's Degree or Higher is up and better from 2018 to 2019, with a reported increase of +0.05% within the County.

How does Erie compare to its Peers?

How does Erie compare to Pennsylvania?

About this Data

Data from the U.S. Census ACS as of 02/2023.