Regional development group begins “Laborshed” employment study

Written by on October 2, 2013 in News

The Great River Region Partnership and Iowa Workforce Development announce the launch of the biennial “Laborshed” employment study. The study will estimate the potential labor force available to businesses operating in Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa counties.
Based on commuting patterns within the region, the “Laborshed” assists existing businesses and potential new businesses in assessing the size and skills of the area labor force regardless of political boundaries.
Employers in the Great River Region will soon receive a mailed survey from Iowa Workforce Development. The survey requests the number of employees in each business broken down according to the ZIP codes of the employees’ places of residence. This information will be used to define the region’s ‘Laborshed’ boundary.
Once the boundary is known, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted within the area. Questions cover topics such as employment status, wages, benefits, education and occupation. Telephone survey results are then applied to demographic data to develop a total potential labor force for the Laborshed, as well as estimates of labor force characteristics.
Mike Norris, Chairman of the Great River Region Partnership, encouraged all employers who receive the survey to respond.
“The Laborshed employment study is an important tool for the region, especially businesses looking to locate or expand here,” Norris said. “This information is critical in taking account of activity in the region and how we leverage that activity in the future.”
To view results of previous county and regional ‘Laborshed’ studies, visit Questions about the ‘Laborshed’ employment study project should be directed to Ryan Murphy, 515.281.7505, or Kiley Miller, 319.385.3101 (
About the Great River Region Partnership
The Great River Region Partnership is a collaborative economic development effort of the Greater Burlington Partnership, Fort Madison Economic Development Corporation, Lee County Economic Development Group, Louisa Development Group, Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission, Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, Iowa Wesleyan College and Southeastern Community College. The partnership’s efforts are focused on business attraction, business retention and expansion, and workforce development.

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