Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 17, 2017

Regional development group launches laborshed survey

Oct 10, 2013

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 (

The Great River Region Partnership is a collaborative economic development effort of the Greater Burlington Partnership, Ft. Madison Economic Development Corporation, Lee County Economic Development Group, Louisa Development Group, Mt. 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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