New study shows labor trends in the Four States


The new labor supply study says most of us don’t mind driving 25 miles or so to get to the right job. And it doesn’t stop there, looking at education, training, benefits and much more.

“It’s sometimes challenging to get the qualified applicants we need,” says Trish Carroll with Columbus Telephone.

She fills a wide range of jobs, dealing with telephone, internet and video services. 

“Trying to find the people that can basically already have those skills or can easily and quickly be trained in those skills is really difficult,” Carroll says.

And she’s not alone. In what’s generally considered a tight market, many employers have openings that are slow to fill. So the Joplin Regional Partnership developed a new labor study. It looks at Jasper, Newton and Barton Counties in Missouri. Crawford, Cherokee and Labette in Kansas and Ottawa County in Oklahoma. The area is growing, showing some big differences from the last study.

“But they actually gauged that available labor pool as being I think around 92,000 back in 2005 and this report showing it to be 132,000 now,” says Jasen Jones with the Workforce Investment Board.

The report also breaks down wages in the area, the level of education and whether workers are open to new training. It’s a lot of information with a very simple goal.

“Trying to match up the person looking for the job with that job they’ve always wanted,” says mark Turnbull with Joplin Regional Partnership.

The report says that a lack of training, transportation and child care are often barriers to getting a job. The report says 43,000 thousand workers are under employed, meaning a job that doesn’t match up to their training and skill.

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