A study of Decorah's workforce shows there are 47,807 people employed within the Decorah laborshed, which extends roughly 30 miles from Decorah. Of that number, 9,323 would be willing to change their current employment for a job in the Decorah area and would be willing to drive up to half an hour to commute to that job. The study also concludes that approximately 1,663 people living in Decorah work in other communities—most of whom commute to Cresco or Waukon.
Decorah's study was conducted by Iowa Workforce Development in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority as part of a program to do a Laborshed Study for one community in every county in Iowa at no cost to local communities. In addition to the Decorah study, IWD has released workforce studies for Cresco, Elkader, Waukon and numerous other Northeast Iowa communities.
The labor availability studies document the number of workers traveling to a particular community for work, with no restrictions by county or state lines. The study reports workforce characteristics including likeliness to change or accept employment, current and desired wages and benefits and distance willing to travel for work.
"No two laborsheds are the same, and you really cannot make workforce decisions based on the standardized data available at the town or county level," said IEDA Director Debi Durham. "I have seen first-hand how having this detailed level of information can make a difference for existing companies trying to improve worker retention rates as well as for companies trying to decide whether to expand in or locate to Iowa. This really is a game changer for Iowa."
The full Decorah laborshed report is available at: https://www.iowalmi.gov/laborshed-studies