Analysis of Those Employed Willing to Change Employment
Analyzing the employed based on their willingness to change employment creates a profile of individuals interested in changing from their current position. The data shows that 24.4 percentof those who are currently employed within the Laborshed area indicated they are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to change employers or employment if presented with the right job opportunity. Job satisfaction is the primary reason that those who are currently employed are not willing to consider changing employment. A good working relationship with current employer, age/near retirement, flexibility of work hours, benefits, length of service/seniority, family reasons, job security, family reasons, currently attending school or other training, and transportation issues are other reasons mentioned but not as frequently.
Table 8 shows the employed willing to change employment residing throughout the survey zones. Respondents willing to change employment by zone are calculated using a logistic regression model weighted by multiple variables such as education level, gender, age, miles willing to travel, and wages. This model provides an estimate for the total number of individuals “willing to change” by zone. The totals are based on the Total Adjusted Labor Force estimates found in Table 1.
A segment of those who are employed (13.8%), willing to change employment, are working two or more jobs. This group would prefer to work full-time hours for one employer versus working for multiple employers to accomplish full-time employment. Those who are employed willing to change are currently working an average of 44 hours per week. Nearly one-fifth (17.2%) would consider employment offers that require them to work more hours. Further analysis finds that 89.7 percent would prefer to work full-time positions (35+ hrs./week), while 10.3 percent prefer positions with less than full-time hours. Temporary and seasonal employment opportunities do not appeal to the majority of those who are currently employed and willing to change employment. Seasonal employment would interest 29.4 percent, while 18.8 percent would consider a temporary employment offer.
When asked about their interest in entrepreneurship opportunities, 35.6 percent of the employed, that are willing to change employment, expressed an interest in starting a business. The types of businesses they are primarily interested in starting include retail (19.4%), farming (9.7%), construction/handyman (9.7%), consulting (3.2%), and child care (3.2%). However, the majority find access to capital/start-up funds is the primary impediment of operating their own business venture followed by concerns about the economy, development of a business plan, marketing expertise, insurance issues, risk involved, human resources/hiring procedures, accounting skills, and time involved.
AGE AND GENDER OF THE EMPLOYED
The gender break down of those willing to change employment is distributed 54.0 percent female and 46.0 percent male. Table 9 compares the gender distribution among the employed respondents willing to change employment in each zone. These calculations are based on the Estimated Number of Employed Willing to Change of 10,852 projections found in Table 8.
The average age of those willing to change employment is 41 years of age . Table 10 provides a breakdown by age category of the employed respondents who are willing to change employment. These calculations are based on the Estimated Number of Employed Willing to Change of 10,852 projections found in Table 8.
Education & Training
The survey results show that 62.1 percent of the respondents willing to change employment have some level of education/training beyond high school, 17.2 percent have obtained an associate degree, 1.1 percent have completed vocational training, 33.3 percent havean undergraduate degree, and 11.5 percent have a postgraduate/professional degree. As with other segments of the Laborshed study, education levels vary by industrial and occupational categories, gender and age groups. Additional data can be provided for specific inquiries regarding education and training by contacting The Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce .
Table 11 provides an overview of the educational fields of study for those who are employed and willing to change employment.
Education and training are the keys to successful careers and employment opportunities.
Over one-third (35.6%) of the employed, willing to change employment, realize to make a successful transition to new employment or be promoted within their current organization, they will need additional education/training. Those respondents desire to start/finish college degree (58.1%), attend computer courses (16.1%), participate in on-the-job training (9.7%), receive training in job preparedness skills (6.5%), and obtain continuing education units “CEU’s” (3.2%). The primary areas of computer training which they want to take are in general computer operations (keyboarding, etc.) (40.0%) and software classes (Office, Word, etc.) (40.0%).
Nearly half (48.4%) are likely to seek additional training/education in their specified areas of study within the next year. Financing, lack of time (work scheduling conflicts), child care issues, lack of training facilities, age, and transportation issues are the primary obstacles to obtaining their educational/training needs.
Community and economic developers, college/university professionals, and human resource professionals may use this information as a guide for determining and enhancing their workforce education and training programs. Additional issues influencing education/training programs may include class time, cost, and location.
Occupations & Experiences
IWD recodes the respondents’ actual occupations into one of the seven Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) categories. The occupational categories represent a variety of specific occupations held by the respondents. (See OES Category Structure - Exhibit D.) Classifying the employed by current occupations and likeliness to change, Table 12 (on next page) shows that the largest concentration of potential available labor is employed in professional, paraprofessional, technical, production, construction, or material handling occupations. Agricultural occupations represent the smallest sector of workers willing to change employment. The calculations for potential available labor are based on the Estimated Number of Employed Willing to Change of 10,852 projections found in Table 8.
Table 13 provides a comparison of those willing to change employment by gender. The Maquoketa Laborshed area has a higher percentage of women who are employed willing to change than men (46.0% and 54.0% respectively). It can be expected that there would be a higher concentration of females in certain occupational categories such as clerical, while males will have higher concentrations of potential available labor in other occupational categories such as construction. Employers within the Laborshed area looking to fill positions can utilize this information to more efficiently focus their recruitment efforts in the occupational categories from which they plan to hire.
The occupational categories encompass a wide variety of individual occupations in which workers in the Laborshed area are employed. In some cases, workers willing to change positions may be employed in jobs that do not maximize all of their available skills and work experiences. Employees may possess talents that go unutilized or unrecognized by their current employer. Employers tapping into this resource may be effective in attracting employees to different positions or increasing their value to the company. For a list of current or previous occupational titles and experiences in the Maquoketa Laborshed area, contact The Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce .
Employers may be aided in their recruiting efforts by being able to identify the respondents by their occupation and area of residence. Table 14 , on the next page,illustrates the percentage of respondents in each occupational category within each Laborshed zone. The table shows that the occupational experiences are generally spread across the survey zones, but the outlying zones have a substantial effect on a community’s in-commute, thus affecting many
economic factors. For the most part, employers looking to fill positions within these occupational categories may want to expand their recruitment efforts to include communities surrounding Maquoketa.
Table 15 details the occupational categories the residents would consider seeking employment by survey zone of residence. This information can provide businesses, community developers, and leaders a “snapshot” for future community growth.
As Table 15 notes, those who are employed within the Maquoketa Laborshed area who are willing to change employment are looking for a wide variety of employment opportunities. However, the majority of those who reside in Zone 1 (Maquoketa) are looking for positions in service occupations (approximately 418 people). Those who reside in Zone 2 are primarily looking for positions in professional, paraprofessional, or technical occupations (approximately 1,718 people). Zone 3 residents are primarily looking for positions in production, construction, or material handling occupations (approximately 1,616 people). Projections are based on zone totals obtained from
Table 16 provides data concerning the employed respondents’ current median wages and salaries, by their likeliness to change employment. Additional data from the survey can be analyzed to provide businesses a benchmark for determining wage rates in the Laborshed area. The actual wage levels required by prospective workers will vary between individuals, occupational categories, industries, and economic cycles. More than three-fifths (60.9%) are hourly wage earners.
As Table 16 shows there is a disparity between the median hourly wages of respondents likely to change employment and those content with their current position ($2.78/hr or $2,000/yr). Those who changed jobs in the past year cited better wages (24.2%), employer layoff/relocation (24.2%), respondent moved from area (13.6%), career change (10.6%), and personality conflicts with employer/co-workers (9.1%) as the primary reasons for change.
The wage threshold of employed residents who are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to change employment is estimated to be $12.00 to $14.13 per hour regardless of industry. Salaried employees willing to change employment have a threshold of $50,000 to $54,250 per year.
Table 17 reflects those who are currently employed willing to change and the estimated wage range required to attract 66 percent to 75 percent of the most qualified hourly wage applicants by industry.
Another comparison to consider is the employed respondents’ lowest wages considered based on gender. Table 18 provides the lowest wages considered between the genders.
In many Laborshed areas, there is a discrepancy between the lowest wages considered of males and females. This falls true in the Maquoketa Laborshed area when looking at hourly wage rates of those who are willing to change employment without regard to specific industry. The lowest median hourly wage that females would consider is 23.1 percent less than that of men. Likewise, the median salary women would consider is 30.0 percent less than that of men. Some of the disparity may be explained by the differences in the occupational and industrial categories of the respondents, nevertheless discrepancies still exist.
The survey provides the respondents an opportunity to identify employment benefits that would influence their decision to change employment. Desired benefits include health/medical insurance (94.0%), pension/retirement options (42.2%), dental coverage (42.2%), paid vacation (31.3%), vision coverage (30.1%), paid holidays (20.5%), paid sick leave (14.5%), prescription drug coverage (10.8%), tuition assistance/reimbursement (10.8%), life insurance (7.2%), disability insurance (4.8%), flextime (2.4%), and stock options (1.2%). For some respondents, benefits offered in lieu of higher wages can be the driving force to change employment. Some respondents assume that particular benefits, such as health/medical insurance, would be incorporated into most standard employment packages; therefore, they did not select health/medical as an influential benefit option.
In order to change employment, nearly one-fifth (19.2%) of those surveyed would prefer to look for offers where the employer covers all the premium costs of health/medical insurance while the majority (78.2%) would be willing to cost share the premium for health/medical insurance with their employer. When looking at cost sharing of current benefits, most (85.5%) of the employers and employees in the Laborshed area are sharing in the premium costs of health/medical insurance and 14.5 percent of the employers are covering the entire cost of health/medical insurance premiums. When it comes to considering influential benefit options to employment offers, there is a difference between those who currently share in the costs of medical insurance premiums to that of those who desire cost sharing of medical insurance premiums. This leads to the belief that cost sharing versus employer paid would influence the employed to change positions or companies.
Flexibility & Adaptability in the Workplace
The Laborshed area residents are very receptive to various work environments. Most respondents (80.0%) would prefer to work in team environments, groups of individuals coming together to accomplish a common goal; 70.6 percent are willing to work in an environment that offers cross-training opportunities, training to do more than one job; and over one-fourth (25.9%) would consider job sharing work arrangements, involving two or more individuals splitting one full-time job. As such arrangements become more common in the workplace; more and more employees are expressing greater interest. Employment opportunities that require a variety of work schedules (combinations of 2 nd, 3 rd or split shifts) would peak the interest of 24.7 percent of the employed that are willing to change employment.
Job Search Techniques
Employers who have a clear understanding of the job search resources used by workers will improve their ability to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency in attracting qualified applicants. Residents living in the Maquoketa Laborshed area are undoubtedly exposed to numerous sources by which employers communicate job openings and new hiring. Therefore, it is important to understand what sources potential workers rely on when looking for jobs. The most frequently identified job search resources are local newspapers (55.2%), the Internet (52.9%), local Iowa Workforce Development Centers (39.1%), networking (20.7%), and regional newspapers (14.9%). Private employment services, walk-in (door-to-door) solicitation, college/university career centers, and trade publications were also mentioned but less frequently as utilized sources for employment opportunities.
Those utilizing the local newspaper tend to seek employment opportunities by searching in their hometown news publication. The most popular local/regional newspaper sources include the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, Quad-City Times, and Maquoketa Sentinel-Press. The Internet is host to many sources for employment opportunities, the most commonly used sites to look for employment opportunities in the Maquoketa Laborshed are www.monster.com and www.qcemployme.com . The type of industry the individual is seeking to be employed may determine the sources used. Businesses wanting more detailed advertising sources may contact The Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce. Understanding and utilizing traditional and non-traditional advertising mediums will provide employers a more focused and effective recruitment tool.
Commuting data collected by the Laborshed survey assists developers and employers in understanding how employed residents that are willing to change employment can/could commute within/out of the area. Overall, the employed willing to change would commute an average of 27 miles one way for employment opportunities. Those who live in Zone 1 are willing to commute an average of 27 miles one way, while residents in Zone 2 are willing to commute an average of 29 miles one way and Zone 3 residents are willing to commute an average of 26 miles one way for the right employment opportunity. To provide a comparison, those employed willing to change are currently commuting 12 miles one way, and those currently employed but not willing to change, commute an average of 13 miles one way to work.
Where individuals live within the Laborshed will influence their desire to commute to the node community. The node community may be the largest economic center for many of the smaller communities in the area. Individuals from the surrounding communities seeking job opportunities and competitive wages/benefits may be resigned to the fact that they will have to commute some distance to a new employer. In these cases, the willingness of the Zone 2 and 3 respondents to commute a substantial distance increases the likelihood that they may be interested in commuting (or interested in continuing to commute) to the node community. However, the willingness of Zone 1 residents to commute represents a potential out commute from the node community. This point illustrates the influence of surrounding labor on the individual Laborsheds - potentially drawing workers out of the node (see Labor Market Areas in Region map).
The out commute of a community represents the percentage of residents living in the node community (Maquoketa), but working for employers located in other communities. The out commute for Maquoketa is estimated at 34.8 percent – approximately 1,270 people living in Maquoketa who work in other communities. Most of those who are out commuting are working in Davenport, De Witt, or Bellevue. Of those who are commuting to other communities for employment opportunities, 20.5 percent are willing to change employment (approximately 260 people) if presented with the right employment offer. The calculations for potential available labor are based on adjusted labor force zone totals obtained from Table 8.
As a group, t hey are primarily employed in production, construction, material handling, professional, paraprofessional, technical, or managerial occupations within the manufacturing, construction, transportation, communications, public utilities, education, or health care/social services industries.
For those who out commute, 61.5 percent have education/technical training beyond high school, 10.3 percent have an associate degree, 2.6 percent are trade certified, 2.6 percent have completed vocational training, 30.8 percent have an undergraduate degree, and 12.8 percent have a postgraduate/professional degree.
Nearly two-thirds (64.1%) of those who are commuting out of Maquoketa for employment are hourly wage employees, their current median wage is $17.00 per hour. Salaried employees (33.3%) have a median income of $62,000 per year.
O ut commuters are currently commuting an average of 35 miles one way to work, and are willing to commute an average of 34 miles for a “new opportunity”. Over two-fifths (61.5%) of out commuters are male. The average age of out commuters is 47; with over one-third (35.9%) between the ages of 45 and 54.
Underemployment is a recent point of interest in popular literature, but has actually been an issue studied and addressed by economists for nearly 20 years. While there is no one widely accepted definition of underemployment for the purpose of this Laborshed study, underemployment is defined in the following three ways:
- Inadequate hours worked -- individuals working less than 35 hours per week and desiring more hours.
- Mismatch of skills -- workers are denoted as “mismatched” if their completed years of education are above the number needed for their current occupational group, they have significant technical skills beyond those currently being utilized, or if they have held previous jobs with a higher wage or salary.
- Low income -- individuals working full-time but at wages insufficient enough to keep them above the poverty level.
Each of these categories of underemployment can be very difficult to estimate; however, it appears as though elements of each of these categories exist in this Laborshed area.
Underemployed Due to Inadequate Hours Worked
In order to assess the impact of underemployment by inadequate hours worked in the Laborshed area, we refer to tabulations of the employed willing to change employment working 34 hours or less from the survey responses. The survey data shows that underemployment due to inadequate hours is estimated to be 1.2 percent within the Laborshed area (Table 19).
The calculation for estimated underemployed desiring more hours is based on the Estimated Number of Employed Willing to Change 10,852 projections found in Table 8.
Four-fifths (80.0%) of those who are considered to be underemployed due to low hours in the Maquoketa Laborshed are women. The average age of those who are underemployed due to low hours is 37 years old.
Additionally, those who are underemployed due to inadequate hours are currently employed in clerical, service, or agricultural occupations and are currently seeking employment opportunities in clerical or service occupations. This group is willing to commute an average of 22 miles one way for the right employment opportunity. Three-fifths of the respondents (60.0%) who are underemployed due to inadequate hours have an education beyond high school. Businesses may want to look inside their own organizations for potential candidates when looking to fill openings requiring full-time employment status.
Underemployed Due to Mismatch of Skills
Underemployment may also be calculated by examining individuals that are employed in positions that do not maximize their previous experience, skills and education, or that do not adequately compensate them based on their qualifications. IWD’s Laborshed survey of the region attempts to provide the best estimate of this “mismatch” of skills by asking respondents if they believe that they are underemployed and if so, why. Respondents first answer the question, “Are you qualified for a better job?” Individuals answering “yes” are then asked to classify why they are qualified based on categories relating to previously held jobs that required more skill and education, acquiring additional job training and education at their current job, current job does not require their level of training or education and greater pay at a previous job. Respondents selected all descriptors that applied to their situation.
The choices provided on the survey are not an exhaustive list of explanations of why the respondent is overqualified, but a collection of the most likely responses based on prior surveys and research. The respondents’ results are then applied to the entire Laborshed area to analyze why underemployment by mismatch of skills exists. IWD then conducts a second method of validating whether or not underemployment by mismatch of skills actually exists. Each time a respondent lists a reason for why he or she is qualified for a better job, other survey questions are analyzed to estimate whether the person is truly underemployed, or simply overstating their skills and education or underestimating the requirements of the labor market. For example, if a respondent states that they are underemployed because they previously held a job that required more skill and education, IWD evaluates the person’s current employer type, occupation type, skills unused at their current position, age, employment status, education, years in current position, and the type of job they would consider to see if they are consistent with the person’s underemployment.
Table 20 shows that 2.0 percent are underemployed due to mismatch of skills. If a respondent is determined to be underemployed due to mismatch of skills for more than one of the four reasons, that individual is only counted once for the Estimated Underemployed and for the Potential Total figures. The calculation for Potential Totalin Laborshed figure is based on the Estimated Number of Employed Willing to Change of 10,852 projections found in Table 8. Additionally, all employed respondents are filtered to include only those that identified that they are “very or somewhat likely” to accept employment when calculating underemployment. This filtering reflects the belief that a respondent is not accurately representing himself or herself as underemployed when they are unwilling to accept new employment opportunities that could improve their status.
Zone 1 contains 12.5 percent of those who are underemployed due to mismatch of skills,
Zone 2 contains 50.0 percent, and Zone 3 contains 37.5 percent in the Maquoketa Laborshed area. In many rural areas, mismatch of skills tends to be higher because of the desire to maintain a certain level of quality of life issues. Over three-fifths (62.5%) of those who are considered to be underemployed due to mismatch of skills in the Maquoketa Laborshed are women. The education level obtained compared to occupation previously held provides the greatest discrepancy when looking at mismatch of skills. Half (50.0%) have an associate degree and 25.0 percent have a postgraduate/professional degree. They are willing to commute an average of 24 miles one way for employment opportunities in managerial occupations.
Underemployed Due to Low Income
Measuring underemployment by low income is accomplished by determining how many households in the Laborshed area fall below the poverty level. A total of 2.0 percent of the respondents answering the household income question fall below the 2007 federal poverty thresholds based on their household income and number of members living in the household (i.e. based on a family of four, the annual household income guideline is $20,650). Table 21 provides an overview of the survey respondents who fall below the 2007 federal poverty level and the potential number affected in the Laborshed area that are underemployed due to low income.
The calculation for potential underemployment due to low income is based on the Estimated Number of Employed Willing to Change of 10,852 employment projections found in Table 8.
Total Estimated Underemployed
All three measures of underemployment result in an estimated total underemployment rate of 4.4 percent in the Laborshed area (Table 22). It is important to emphasize that these underemployment percentages are only estimates; however, IWD has filtered the data to eliminate double counting of respondents within and between the three categories. A person underemployed due to inadequate hours and mismatch of skills is only counted once.
The wage threshold for the underemployed is $9.58 to $10.19 per hour with a lowest median considered wage of $8.50 per hour. When looking for employment opportunities the underemployed use local newspapers (50.0%); local Iowa Workforce Development Centers (50.0%); the Internet (38.9%); networking through friends, family, and/or acquaintances (22.2%); regional newspapers (16.7%); walk-in (door-to-door) solicitation (16.7%); or private employment services (16.7%) as the preferred job search mediums.
Laborshed Analysis | Estimating the Total Labor Force Potential | Primary Industries of the Laborshed | Workforce Statistics | Analysis of Those Employed Willing to Change Employment | Willingness of Those Not Currently Employed to Accept Employment | Laborshed Maps and Exhibits | Labor Market Information (Employer-Based) Web Resources | References | Index of Charts and Tables