Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 12, 2013

Report analyzes Appanoose County laborshed workforce

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — An analysis of workforce characteristics of the laborshed area around Appanoose County commissioned by the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation released in late February provides a look at underemployment, employment preferences, wages, hours worked and commuting distance.

The $4,200, 44-page 2013 Laborshed Report compiled by Iowa Workforce Development was paid for by Opportunity Squared, a regional economic development organization. The last Laborshed Report for Appanoose County was issued in 2009.

Tod Faris, AEDC executive director, said the report is often used by current or prospective businesses to understand where the potential labor force comes from. The report defines a laborshed "as the area or region from which an employment center draws its commuting workers."

The laborshed area for Appanoose County offers employers a potential labor force of 37,319. In the laborshed area, those willing to change or accept employment in Appanoose County are willing to commute an average of 26 miles one way for work.

The laborshed area for Appanoose County includes northern Missouri and Davis, Wayne, Van Buren, Wapello, Monroe and Lucas counties in Iowa.

The report states in the laborshed area 69.6 percent are employed, 9.6 percent are unemployed, 6.7 percent voluntarily not employed and not retired and 14.1 percent retired.

Of the 69.6 percent employed, 19 percent said they are working more than one job, working an average of 40 hours per week and are willing to change employment. The average age of this individual is 48 years.

The laborshed report, based on survey respondents, shows the highest concentration of employed workers In Appanoose County are in education and manufacturing. Education and manufacturing both consume 18.7 percent of the laborshed, which is followed by healthcare and social services at 16.2 percent, wholesale and retail trade at 11.6 percent, transportation, communication and utilities at 7.9 percent,  public administration and government at 7.1 percent, personal services at 5 percent, professional services at 4.6 percent, construction at 4.1 percent, agriculture, forestry and mining at 3.3 percent, finance, insurance and real estate at 2.1 percent and entertainment and recreation at 0.7 percent.

The report shows the medium salary wage per year by industry in Appanoose County favors healthcare, social services, manufacturing and education.

According to the report, if you work in healthcare and social services, the medium salary wage per year is $80,000; manufacturing, $65,000; education, $52,000; public administration and government, $41,000; wholesale and retail trade, $40,000; professional services, $35,500; construction, $30,000; and finance, insurance and real estate, $25,750.

The report states there are an estimated 547 unemployed with an average age of 43 that breakdown to 66.7 percent male and 33.3 percent female who are willing to go back to work. These individual are willing to commute an average of 24 miles one way "for the right opportunity," the report states, but the estimated wage range to attract the top 75 percent of unemployed wage applicants varies from $11.09 to $12.19 per hour.

The Laborshed Report estimated the total adjusted labor force and the total number willing to change or accept employment in the  Appanoose County laborshed area: Zone 1, which includes Centerville and portions of rural Appanoose County, the total adjusted labor force is 3,367 and the total number willing to change or accept employment is 1,788; Zone 2, which stretches from Unionville, Mo. to Albia and from Bloomfield to Promise City and all cities in between, the total adjusted labor force is 10,620 and the total number willing to change or accept employment is 4,784; Zone 3 defines the outer boundary of the laborshed area and includes portions of northern Missouri, Ottumwa, Chariton, Corydon and cities in between, the total adjusted labor force is 23,332 and the total number willing to change or accept employment is 1,276.

The three zone totals are 37,319 in total adjusted labor force and the total number willing to change or accept employment and commute for a job opportunity in Zone 1 is 7,848.

Underemployed are defined as those working fewer than 35 hours per week but would work more hours; working at wages equal to or less than the national poverty level; and those working in positions that do not meet their skill or education levels; or working for higher wages at previous employment.

The report states the estimated total underemployed at 4.7 percent or 280 people. Reasons for the underemployment include inadequate hours, mismatch of skills and low income.