According to Economic Development professionals, the availability of a well-trained and educated labor force is an important factor for businesses considering expansions or relocations.

That being said, Madison County, Iowa is the second-fastest growing non-metropolitan county in the state and boasts a workforce in which two-thirds of the employed residents have some level of education or training beyond high school.

A Laborshed is defined as the actual area or region from which the business community draws its workers. Laborshed studies show the commuting patterns of workers irrespective of natural or political boundaries. It also addresses underemployment, availability and willingness of current and prospective employees to change employment within the workforce, current and desired occupations, wages, hours worked, and distance willing to commute to work.

Winterset as a community has an estimated 3,869 population in adjusted work force between ages 18 to 64. When the region is expanded to include nearby rural communities, the population for this same group includes an additional 32,400 workers. Expanding the region to a 30 mile radius adds a significant portion of the Des Moines metro area population which results in an additional 241,543 of population becoming available. This results in a grand total of 277,812 population of working age people within the Madison County Laborshed. Of this population, an estimated 26,851 are willing to change or accept new employment. Industries that have at least 10% of the workforce include finance, insurance and real estate (13.5%); health care and social services (12%); wholesale and retail trade (11.7%); manufacturing (10.9%); and government (10%).

The out-commute of a community represents the percentage of residents living in the region but working for employers located in other communities. The out-commute for Winterset is estimated at 47.7%, which means approximately 1,463 people live in Winterset and work in other communities. Most of these are working in the Des Moines metropolitan area.

A Madison County Laborshed Analysis was recently completed and released in January of 2016 that is a regional collaboration compiled by Iowa Workforce Development. Additional information can be found in the full report including:

  • Estimated Total Potential Labor Force
  • Industries
  • Employment Status
  • Educational Background
  • Wage Requirements
  • Commuting Patterns

Madison County Laborshed Analysis (PDF)