Written by Theresa Rose on October 16, 2015

The Southeast Iowa Region will be working with Iowa Workforce Development’s Regional Research Bureau to complete a Laborshed employment study for the Southeast Iowa area, including Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa counties. This study will examine the labor force from which the Southeast Iowa area employers draw their employees, and is based upon commuting patterns into the area. The study will assist existing and potential businesses to better understand the size and characteristics of the area’s labor force regardless of political boundaries.

The Laborshed boundary is based on the place of residence of individuals commuting into the Southeast Iowa area for employment. For the success of this study, we will be sending letters to employers in Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa counties asking that they provide us with aggregate counts of their employees’ residential ZIP codes. This reporting will give us an understanding of where each community’s workforce resides.

Once that Laborshed area is determined, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted in those identified areas. The questions will cover topics such as: employment status, current and desired wages, current and desired benefits, education level, and type of occupation. Survey results will be applied to demographic data to determine the size of the Southeast Iowa area labor force as well as various labor force characteristics. Iowa Workforce Development will not be asking survey takers any identifiable information such as: name, social security number, or date of birth.

The results for each county and regional Laborshed analysis can be found at If you have any question about the Laborshed workforce project, please contact Katie Lippold at 515-281-3035 Mike Norris, 319-753-5107. Thank you for your support and participation.