Overall Report of Data, Analysis, Methodology, and Key Findings Conducted by: Next Move Group, LLC
Our research has found that the Southeast Georgia Alliance counties are currently a great location for transportation related industries, as well as specific manufacturing sectors, to attract skilled workers. The location of the region along the coast between two metro areas lends itself to being a prime hub of transportation and warehousing activity. What may be overlooked is the potential for growth in the manufacturing sector as industries could locate closer to the where international goods are being imported for the use in the manufacturing or assembly process. The following report was compiled for the Southeast Georgia Regional economic development team.
The Southeast Georgia Alliance region has three distinct labor sheds. To best understand the correlation between wage rates and labor draw, Next Move Group surveyed employers within the region to determine where their existing employees reside as well as additional factors such as: wage rates, skill level, employer satisfaction, and more. Anonymous zip code data of employees was used to determine the three labor sheds for Southeast Georgia Alliance: low wage (below average), medium wage (average), and high wage (above average). We paired that information with hard data, analytics, and experience to paint a real picture of where employees live, where they work, how much they cost, what their skills are, how many of them there are, and how far they will drive for wages offered.
Over the past five years, the Southeast Georgia Alliance counties have been experiencing tremendous growth in the Transportation/Warehousing sector as well as in Professional, Scientific, and Technical services. The region has also seen employment growth in subsectors such as Wood Product Manufacturing, Aircraft Manufacturing, Utilities Management & Services, as well as multiple construction related industries, showing growth in new commercial and residential building.
The Southeast Georgia Alliance region has an available labor advantage that should be used to promote new facility location and expansion. The prime age labor participation rate within the six-county region is 74.4%. Additionally, the regional high wage labor shed has a participation rate of 80.1%. These are both below the national average, meaning employers that pay an average of $24 per hour can tap into a much larger base of available skilled labor in within the greater labor shed than in other locations. Taking into account these statistics, it shows the region has labor availability amongst a population that wishes to work. Additionally, high numbers of workers in Retail Trade as well Food and Accommodation gives new employers a large pool of underemployed workers from which to upskill and hire.
This map outlines each wage level by geographic region:
Based on Zip Code data Next Move Group, LLC, received from Southeast Georgia Alliance Counties of Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Glynn, McIntosh and Wayne, employers can expect to draw labor from each of the three (3) different geographies in the circles on the right with the variance being the rate of pay.
Six County Population Data – Those who work and live within the six Southeast Georgia Alliance counties represent a population of over 92,000 people. All workers within the Alliance counties have an average commute time of 24 minutes. Workers who live and work within the county are a great economic advantage, as they allow for the retention of wages and stimulate local markets. However, employers inside the six counties of the Alliance draw labor from one of three distinct labor shed areas based on the wages offered. Below we detail where employers can expect to attract additional workers based on those wages.
Low Wage Southeast Georgia Alliance Labor Shed (Red Circle) – Employers paying within the red circle can expect to draw labor from near Hinesville, Georgia to the north, near Blackshear, Georgia to the west, and the Florida State Line to the south. The population within this radius is 210,526. The number of people in the workforce within this radius is 92,037. Will employees drive from outside this radius to work in the Alliance counties for a below-average wage? Certainly, but most below-average wage workers, based on the zip code survey data we studied, come from within the red circle. wage? Certainly, but most below average wage workers, based on the zip code survey data we studied, come from within the yellow circle.
Medium Wage Southeast Georgia Alliance Labor Shed (Blue Circle) – Employers paying an average wage can expect to draw labor from almost Savannah, Georgia to the north, slightly past Baxley, Georgia to the west, and Yulee, Florida to the south (southeast not much farther than the red circle). At this pay rate, the radius for potential employees grows toward the northwest much more than any other direction. This is due to competition with the Jacksonville, Florida marketplace. The population within this radius is 477,791. The number of people in the workforce within this radius is 206,091. Will employees drive from outside this radius to work in the Alliance counties for an average wage? Certainly, but the majority of average wage workers, based on the zip code survey data we studied, come from within the blue circle.
High Wage Southeast Georgia Alliance Labor Shed (Purple Circle) – Employers paying an above-average wage can expect to draw labor from as far away as the northern suburbs of Savannah, Georgia, west to Douglas, Georgia and almost into Jacksonville, Florida proper to the south. Higher wage jobs extend the Southeast Georgia Alliance Labor Shed significantly. The population within this radius is 2,037,615. The number of people in the workforce within this radius is 981,533.
We surveyed employers in the six counties of the Southeast Georgia Alliance and obtained the zip codes of where their employees live. This information along with our research gave us three distinct labor sheds based upon average pay: Low Wage, Medium Wage, and High Wage. As the labor sheds get larger, so do the top wages needed to draw employees from them and into the Alliance counties. Studying the information for the Low Wage Labor Shed first, we found that $13 per hour is the best average wage to draw from the Low Wage Labor shed. We applied that information to the Medium Wage Labor Shed and found the best average hourly wage to be $19 per hour for employers to draw from that radius. The step was repeated with the new information to give us the average hourly wage of $24 per hour for the High Wage Labor Shed.
Below is a table comparing the educational attainment of the population within the Low (Below Average Wage), Medium (Average Wage), and High (Above Average Wage) Labor Sheds. These regions are compared to both the Kentucky and U.S. averages.
Our findings in this study show several positive labor attributes. Below is the raw data.
Manufacturing (NAICS 31, 32, and 33) is a staple in the Southeast Georgia Alliance with over 93,000 people employed in a production or installation, maintenance, and repair, occupation. The six-county Southeast Georgia Alliance pulls labor from 27 Georgia and Florida Counties. Additional advantages of this workforce are listed below.
Below is how Southeast Georgia Alliance’s Labor Shed compares to the national average in multiple manufacturing-related occupations (by industry).
Below is how Southeast Georgia’s Labor Shed compares to the national average in multiple transportation-related occupations (by occupation).
Labor Force and Participation:
The data shows that employers in the Southeast Georgia Alliance counties can tap into a higher population of skilled workers by slightly increasing wages. As the radius gets larger, so does the pool of workers and expected pay rates. By comparison, the Six-County civilian labor force is 92,037 with a prime age participation rate of 74.4%, the Average Wage Region has a civilian labor force of 206,091 with a prime age participation rate of 75%, and the Above Average Wage Region has a civilian labor force of 981,533 with a participation rate of 80.1%. Occupations are detailed below.
Our findings in this study show several positive labor attributes. Below is a graphic detailing the four best attributes of the labor shed that give employers a built-in incentive to locate in the Southeast Georgia Alliance Counties, followed by additional highlights.