It is getting tough to find good employees to fill open positions in Lincoln County. One reason is that a large portion of our workforce, sixty percent according to the Employment Security Department, commutes outside the county every day for work. This leaves only a small portion of our workforce to fill jobs here. But what are the consequences to the employer and why are so many people commuting out? A recent survey of employers gives some insight on the first half of that question and a new survey targeting commuters will answer the second half. The surveys are being conducted by the Lincoln County Economic Development Council (EDC) who hopes the combined data will lead to possible solutions.
The Employer Survey was just completed with sixty-two employers responding. When asked “How difficult is it for you to find qualified job applicants?” three quarters selected “often” or “always” difficult. Another question revealed that the problem has prevented seventy percent of employers from expanding their business. Sixty percent have experienced lower productivity and reduced output or sales because of staffing issues and thirty percent have considered moving their business to a more urban area. If that’s not troublesome enough, the top three reasons employees leave their Lincoln County jobs? They accept a job outside Lincoln County; they are unable to find housing; and they are unable to find child care.
The results are startling, even if not surprising. The big question now is “What would it take to get some of those commuters to take jobs here?” If you or someone you know commutes out of the county to work please take the brief multiple-choice Commuter Survey.
Lincoln County Employers:
It is getting tough to find good employees for good jobs in Lincoln County! Employment Security tells us that over half of our workforce leaves the county for work every day leaving a very small employment pool to draw from. Please help us identify the specific reasons for this out-of-county commute rate by taking this quick, anonymous 10-question survey. We will widely share the aggregate results and hopefully they will identify opportunities to make needed change.
Lincoln County EDC