March 23, 2022

Hannibal, MO—Missouri Northeast (MO NE) has retained Growth Services Group (GSG), a national labor market research consulting firm, to administer a local residential workforce survey. GSG will conduct the survey via targeted social media marketing as well as through MO NE partner organizations. The goal of the survey is to identify the available labor force at the local and regional level by type, education, experience, skills, costs, and under what conditions they would be available for employment.

This type of research reflects the views and perspective of both underemployed workers and the non-employed from ages 18 through 64 and represents the supply side of the workforce.  The findings reflect both the current and desired work opportunities of the available and the underemployed component of the workforce. This data complements public data sources since those databases only reflect one component of the total workforce.

A key source of good employees is the category of the underemployed, those individuals who are now working but desire a better job and who possess the skills, education and experience to qualify for better jobs.

A primary goal of any labor shed analysis is to estimate the potential availability of workers and determine how well the surrounding geographical areas are able to provide a stable supply of workers. The key advantage of a Labor Supply analysis is that it expands the pool of potential workers by including workers excluded from the civilian labor force (CLF). It also allows researchers to examine those members of the Area Labor Market (ALM) pool who have a propensity to consider a job opportunity given their employment expectations.

One challenge facing employers is that current labor data is in flux given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, one could argue that, while extremely important from a funding perspective, even the current census data has been skewed by the crisis.

“The GSG team believes that the COVID-19 pandemic will forever change the way we live and work,” said Corey J Mehaffy, GSG CEO. “We also firmly believe that this pandemic provides an opportunity for a workforce resurgence that has not existed for decades.”

Labor is a key factor in site selection. In fact, in Area Development magazine’s Annual Consultants Survey, “availability of skilled labor” is regularly the number one factor for site consideration. GSG reports quantify the labor availability so that the local labor force assets are clear to those who are looking to potentially employ them. The respondent’s comments will be confidential and only reported in the aggregate or grand totals.

“It is paramount that workforce and economic development systems align to work through strategic workforce development programs based on the needs of business and the workforce pipeline,” said Michael Bugalski, MO NE Chairman. “Participating in the survey will allow workforce and economic development stakeholders to support both workers and employers. This study will ensure that MO NE can understand what the skills, utilization rates, desired work and occupational opportunities of the area’s workforce are.”

According to MO NE Treasurer Carolyn Chrisman, participating in the survey is very important. Chrisman said, “The results from the survey will assist international site selectors and existing business leaders as they evaluate the area’s human resource assets for ‘Underemployment, Available Skills, Commuting Patterns and Desired Wages,’ thus allowing potential employers to match their labor needs or demand with our local area’s labor supply.”

The project will include a master report with data collected from 28 counties, including three in Illinois and 25 in Missouri. In addition, individual economic development and workforce development organizations will receive breakout reports reflecting data from the counties within their specific labor shed or service territory.

Mehaffy added, “The Labor Supply Certification includes primary research at the residential level, thus providing strategic workforce data that is not available anywhere else. In addition, GSG’s proprietary methodology includes a more disciplined demographic approach to respondents that allows employers to gain a better understanding of the decision-making factors among various age groups within the workforce. As an example, with five generations currently represented in the workforce, it is important for employers to understand the changes in how workers are choosing employment, in what motivates workers in the work environment and in their desired compensation and benefits in order to properly engage their workforce.”

According to Chrisman, it is the Missouri Northeast’s mission to attract quality businesses to the region from around the world, and to maintain foundational efforts to improve the region’s competitiveness.

To participate in the labor survey visit –

Developed in 2008, the Missouri Northeast represents cities, counties and organizations in the Northeast Missouri region. The main purpose of MO NE is to create jobs and increase the capital investment of the region. MO NE continues to have a presence on the regional, state, and national level with an emphasis on marketing the region to prospective new industry, networking, economic development, education, and providing a common voice on issues that affect the region. For more information, visit the organization’s website at

MO NE Labor Survey