News Archive

Entries in Laborshed Analysis (6)


Workforce Development a top issue in 2018

2018 is shaping up to be a growth year in Washington County and the CR/IC Corridor, but also a challenging one for workforce and talent attraction.

Washington County's laborforce has been gradually growing over the years, and flexes between 12,600 and 12,900. But unemployment is just 2.1% or about 300 people, only 145 of which are drawing unemployment benefits.

Updated Laborshed Occupational Wage Data 

Back in January 2016, Iowa Workforce Development's Labor Market Information bureau published our Washington County Laborshed Analysis. Periodically, they have provided occupational wage updates for our Laborshed area. This is great data that gives a window into wage trends.

Washington Laborshed Sector Wage Reports, 2017 Q4

Wage data provided is customized to the Washington County Laborshed area which represents the following counties: Henry, Iowa, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Louisa, Muscatine, Wapello, and Washington. 

Workforce Development Strategies

In November, WEDG hosted a Workforce Development meeting and over 35 employers from around greater Washington County. A number of initiatives and opportunities for employers were presented.

Workplace Learning Connection

Job shadows, internships, workplace tours, literacy fairs, and employer engagement are what Kirkwood's Workplace Learning Connection is coordinating for k-12 students in Washington County (and their 7 County region).
Education is reaching out to employers to connect with students and teachers. Be sure you are reaching out too in 2018.
Check out the WLC's slide deck. Is your company on the list of partners for 2016-17?
Click here if you’d like to sign up to be a Partner or Volunteer with the WLC! Connecting students with employers and careers!


Iowa Registered Apprenticeships

IWD/IowaWORKS can help with sample Registered Apprenticeship plans that you can customize. Think your business isn’t a likely to be a “fit” for apprenticeships? Think again. "New industries are offering opportunities including: information technology, financial services, healthcare, transportation, energy, advanced manufacturing, and hospitality. A Registered Apprenticeship is an appropriate option for all job seekers including women, minorities, youth, people with disabilities, and veterans." IowaWORKS' Kate Pine is a great contact.

Here is Kate Pine’s slide deck and a fact sheet on the program:

Home Base Iowa

Mace Huffman (, m. 319-423-2809) spoke about the retooled Home Base Iowa program that allows participating Employers to search through Veterans resumes, as well as posting jobs for Veterans to find. Is there a good reason that your company is NOT participating in this initiative?

Home Base Iowa web site:


ESGR Statement of Support for Guard & Reserve

Employers were encouraged to sign up on-line for a statement of Support as an employer that works to accommodate employees serving in the National Guard and Reserves.

If you’d like to sign up on-line with an employer Statement of Support for working with employees and families serving in the National Guard and Reserves, go to:
Here is a ESGR Fact Sheet on the Statement of Support program:


Executive Industry Interviews

I try to annually many industry leaders from greater Washington County. Serving our existing business and industry base is a top priority for WEDG.

In January, I'll be reaching out for appointments with 30+ industry executives to get their thoughts and insights into their business and the area community business environment. 



Washington Laborshed 2017 updates

A year ago, we provided data about the 2016 Laborshed analysis for Washington, Washington County, and the Creative Corridor.

Iowa Workforce Development has updated many of those reports for 2017.


Reports to view or download:

The employment sector reports include maps, benefits, and wage information broken down by Mean, Entry, Experienced, and Median wage, along with Mean Annual Salary. Great stuff.

If you're an employer, this is some great info to review to better understand the employment scene in greater Washington County and Southeast Iowa.

To search for Laborshed full reports across Iowa, visit this page at the IWD Labor Market Information.

This data is also listed on the WEDG Data webpage.


Don't forget to Register to attend our Monday, March 27 Annual Dinner at the Riverside Casino. Tickets are $40 until March 14th (then $50).


Washington County Laborshed 2016

Several weeks ago, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) presented our 2016 Laborshed Analysis for Washington and communities around Washington County. This is some great info for employers.

A Laborshed Analysis measurers several factors. First, IWD survey private and public employers to find out what zip code their employees live in. This helps to show the zip codes where people live and where they work. Second, IWD surveys households in the zip codes about their employment status, wages, education, and willingness to change employment. IWD has more information about method and statistics about Laborsheds on their web site.

If you're an employer, this is some great info to review to better understand the employment scene in greater Washington County and Southeast Iowa. Some of the exciting topics include:

  • Education attainment
  • Education fields
  • Commuting time
  • Age profiles by employment status
  • Insurance & Benefits
  • Reasons for considering a job change, or staying put
  • Profile of Underemployed, Not Employed, Homemakers, & Retired
  • Laborshed maps by community

 Laborshed Documents to view or download:



This information and documents is also available on WEDG's web site in the Data & Demographics page.

If you'd like a hard copy of the full Laborshed Analysis report, or any of the other reports, contact WEDG and we can help!

If you'd like assistance in understanding or interpreting the Laborshed data and maps, contact WEDG and we can help (along with IWD staff)!

Lastly, thanks to these partners for helping local economic development groups like WEDG to fund the Laborshed Analysis reports in Washington County and in the other 6 counties in Iowa's Creative Corridor - Washington County Riverboat Foundation, Alliant Energy, Kirkwood Community College, CIPCO, and Mid-American Energy.


WEDG Workforce Development Mtg., 1/27 @ 8am

Having a tough time hiring? Having to work extra hard to get good applications?

As an important employer in the Washington County area, please REGISTER for you or someone in your organization to attend our occasional WASHINGTON COUNTY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT meeting next Wednesday morning. We’re putting together the info you want into ONE meeting. Really, this is going to be a great meeting. Don’t miss it.

WHAT:     • Laborshed Analysis for Washington, County & Creative Corridor
                      - Iowa Workforce Development (NEW REPORT!)
      • Wage data by occupation/job title and sector - IWD
      • Workplace Learning Connection update
      • Kirkwood Regional Center update
      • Kirkwood Manufacturing, Healthcare, Sector Board updates
      • United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties
      • Networking & updates from attending employers

WHEN:      Wednesday, January 27, 8:00-10:30am 
                  (Manufacturing Sector Board from 7-8am)

WHERE:    Washington County Fairgrounds 4-H Dallmeyer Hall
                  611 Hwy 1 South, Washington, IA 52353

RSVP:    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (free) (registration not required but really helps us with planning)

Other upcoming interesting events:

Monday, March 21st, Annual Dinner for WEDG, Washington Chamber, & Main Street Washington @ Riverside Casino, $40

February date TBD - Housing Summit - Washington County hasn’t recovered the new home building pace of pre-2008. How do we get more housing going? Grow the workforce? Add construction jobs?

Want to see older (2012, 2010) Laborshed reports and commuting patters?

Feel free to contact me (319-653-3942, with any questions or comments.

Even more interesting things:

Map of the Week - Iowa Legislative Service Agency (LSA) a non-partisan agency at the State Capitol, produces a weekly thematic map of interesting data that helps your understanding of Iowa's Counties, and the State.

IWD's Labor Market Information web site - Updated website with great data on employment, industry and occupational statistics, wages, projections, trends and other workforce characteristics.

Subscribe to the Iowa's Creative Corridor weekly e-mail digest of interesting stories and events. Maybe the people you want to hire are getting it to plan their weekend.


New Laborshed study to begin soon

The Washington Economic Development Group, a part of the 7-county Iowa's Creative Corridor, is poised to begin a Laborshed study examining the relationship between where employees live and where they work.

The study also will examine where and how employers find employees, and aims to assist existing and future businesses with understanding the size and characteristics of the area's labor force.

The Laborshed study will be conducted in by the Bureau of Research and Analysis, a division of Iowa Workforce Development (IWD).

Letters will be sent to employers in the 7-county region asking for aggregate counts of their employees' residential ZIP codes. Once the "laborshed" area is determined, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted in those identified areas. The questions will cover topics such as occupation, employment status, current and desired wages, current and desired benefits and education level.

Survey results will be applied to demographic data to determine the size of the region's area labor force, as well as various labor force characteristics. IWD will not be asking survey takers any identifiable information such as their name, social security number or date of birth.

When the study is complete, the results for each county and regional laborshed analysis will be available at and For questions, contact IWD’s Ryan Murphy at (515) 281-7505 or Ed Raber at WEDG (319) 653-3942.

The laborshed study is funded by area economic development organizations throughout the 7-county Creative Corridor, Alliant Energy and other utilities, Kirkwood Community College, and a grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation.

To view/download previous Laborshed studies in the area check out these links:

If you haven't subscribed to the weekly Creative Corridor e-mail Digest, click here to sign up!