The Wadley Donovan Group
conducted a 24-county labor market assessment in 2002.
The 24 counties were divided into three separate
regions. Leake County was assigned to Region 1 which
included counties of Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Leake,
Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Smith. This authorized study
required independent research to review the local
operating environment in the county and the region from
the perspective of a locationally active company.
Conclusions of The Wadley Donovan Group
Leake County offers
office and industrial employers an attractive labor
market. Entry and mid-level, and some skilled employees
are available to new and expanding employers. Area
labor costs are below national averages in every
industry group. Most target industries will see labor
cost savings for operations in Leake County compared to
other parts of the country.
are readily available. Production, distribution, and
clerical workers are in good supply, and most area
firms fill job openings through walk-ins, referrals
and word of mouth.
New and expanding
employers will have little difficulty recruiting
entry-level, mid-level and skilled workers if they
are willing to pay above average salaries and
Leake County can
easily support additional manufacturing,
distribution and back office operations. Prospective
employers will need to offer entry-level wages in
the $7.00 to $8.00/hr. range and provide a
competitive benefit package to secure a quality
are generally satisfied with the region, its
workforce, business climate, and overall quality of
indicate the area’s high quality of life evident in
its schools, climate, health care, low crime rate,
lack of traffic and low taxes make it an attractive
place to operate.
49% of survey
employed residents within Region 1 are interested in
obtaining new job skills. New and expanding
employers can tap into this potential labor pool to
recruit workers interested in obtaining on-the-job
and classroom training for positions that offer new
closures have eliminated 2,500 jobs in the region.
This has caused wages to remain flat and afforded
employers the ability to cherry-pick the best
applicants. New and expanding employers can benefit
from this labor surplus.
Leake County has a
medium sized labor force of 9,500 that is
supplemented by workers who commute into Leake
County from neighboring counties. The county’s
30-minute labor commute zone provides a workforce of
approximately 15,700. Scott County is the source of
most out-of-county labor.
indicate satisfaction with work ethic, productivity,
and willingness to work overtime. When compared to
other company sites, Leake County locations are
considered slightly more productive. This
reinforces that view that the quality of the area
workforce is above average.
Region 1 surveyed residents are not employed and 18%
work part time. 32% of the not employed want a full
time job. This represents a hidden labor supply for
new and expanding employers.
44% of not employed
Region 1 surveyed residents would be interested in
obtaining a job if they were required to receive job
22% of not employed
Region 1 surveyed residents indicate they are not
working because they cannot find a suitable job.
This labor component represents a training
opportunity for local industry and education and