Fort Hays State University's Docking Institute of Public Affairs recently concluded two employment studies for the Manhattan, KS, area and the Joplin, MO, area.
The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce contracted the institute to perform the study.
The Manhattan labor basin includes 19 towns in seven counties. Docking Institute researchers estimate there are more than 68,000 workers in the basin, more than 30,000 of whom are either looking for employment or would consider changing jobs for the right opportunity. The remaining 38,000 workers are not interested in changing employment.
Researchers found that almost 90 percent of the labor pool has at least a high school diploma with more than 76 percent having some college education and 37 percent having at least a bachelor's degree.
The researchers also found that about 65 percent of the labor pool would travel up to 30 minutes, one way, for a job -- this statistic is similar to the findings of the Joplin study.
The Joplin labor basin includes 234,000 workers in 15 counties -- eight in southwest Missouri, four in southeast Kansas, three in northeast Oklahoma. About 52 percent of workers in the basin, approximately 124,000, would not consider changing jobs while the remaining 110,000 of those in the basin are unemployed or would consider changing jobs.
The Joplin study was performed on behalf of the Southwest Missouri Development Alliance. The researchers found that 95 percent of the labor pool has at least a high school diploma with more than half having some college education.
Kevin Welch, director of the Southwest Missouri Development Alliance, told the Joplin Globe that the study was a "valuable economic development tool."