The annual “2023 Central Valley/Mother Lode Region: Overview” released by the Central Valley/Mother Lode Center Excellence this fall contains a deep dive into the region’s workforce composition in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, and age. 

Key highlights from the report, which analyzed the demographics of middle-skill occupations that make up each sector, are summarized below.

Gender

  • Retail, hospitality, and tourism is the only sector whose workforce is evenly divided between male and female workers.
  • Male workers comprise a substantial proportion of the following sectors: 94% of energy, construction, and utilities ; 72% of agriculture, water, and environmental technologies; and 67% of public safety.
  • Female workers account for the majority of the workforce in the following sectors: 85% of education; 83% of health; 78% of ICT/digital media; and 65% of business and entrepreneurship.

Race/Ethnicity

  • It is important to note that the race/ethnicity demographics of residents in the region show that Hispanic residents account for the majority of the population, 55%. However, the race/ethnicity demographic data for workers in the 10 sectors reveals that Hispanic workers comprise a smaller share of the workforce, on average 41%. This suggests underrepresentation of Hispanic workers in middle-skill jobs in the overall regional workforce.
  • Another important finding is that 58% of career education (CE) students in the region identify as Hispanic, followed by white, 24%, Asian American, 6%, and Black, 5%.
  • Within the agriculture, water, and environmental technologies sector, overrepresentation of white workers and underrepresentation of Hispanic workers appears to exist. Data analysis also indicates all race/ethnicity groups, except white workers, are underrepresented in the business and entrepreneurship sector; white workers comprise 45% of the sector’s workforce. In the health sector, an overrepresentation of Asian American workers appears to exist.

Age

  • Depending on the occupation, there can be great variation in age composition. For example, in the business and entrepreneurship sector, 65% of customer service representatives are under the age of 45.  By comparison, 54% of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are over the age of 45.
  • There are a number of occupations with an aging workforce: 71% of workers who are farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers are over the age of 45, as are 56% of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, and 63% of first-line supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers.
  • Additionally, the report identifies the most in-demand and highest paid middle-skill occupations, those jobs that require more education than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree, in each sector. The study team also conducted a comparison of workforce demand by sector with the supply of students being prepared by regional community colleges to enter the workforce. The report identifies areas where a shortage of workers may exist.