Workforce in Iowa's Creative Corridor

Workforce is an essential component to business success.  As a commitment to a prosperous economy, our seven county region and economic development partners provide numerous workforce services to assist growing companies.

Largest Population Region

Iowa's Creative Corridor boasts an ample pool of qualified candidates and an Iowa work ethic resulting in a more productive workforce.  Our area is strategically located in the center of the largest population region in the state of Iowa, attracting workers beyond a sixty mile radius, including central Iowa and western Illinois.

With a population of more than 458,000, and a labor footprint higher than 640,000, Iowa's Creative Corridor consistently attracts knowledge workers and skilled professionals.

Demographic Profile

From the Regional Workforce and Economic Development Status Report - September 2014

The region experienced a population increase of 0.8 percent between 2012 and 2013, while the State as a whole experienced 0.5 percent population growth. Johnson County had the highest percentage growth rate in the region at 2.0 percent.

The region gained 6,433 residents on a net-migration basis in 2012, with Johnson County having the greatest positive net-migration in the region (6,364).

There is much disparity between county age distributions within the region, with Cedar County having the highest median age (42.8) and Johnson County having the lowest (29.3).

Washington County had the greatest percentage of Hispanic population in the region (5.1%).

The counties in the region have varying average commute times, with Johnson County having the shortest (17.9 minutes) and Jones County having the longest (24.6 minutes). The statewide average is 18.7 minutes.

Employment and New Jobs

From the Regional Workforce and Economic Development Status Report - September 2014

In 2013, Iowa had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, significantly less than the U.S. unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. Among counties in this region, Johnson County had the lowest unemployment rate in 2013 with 3.3 percent, while the rest of the counties ranged between 3.8 and 5.5 percent.

The region’s economy is heavily dominated by wholesale and retail trade; manufacturing; and health care and social assistance, that combined employ 45.2 percent of the region’s workers.

The labor force grew by 1.6 percent in the region between 2008 and 2013, compared to a -0.3 percent negative growth statewide.

Health care and social assistance employment increased by 3,150 between 2008 and 2013, the largest industry increase in the region.