Saturday, April 3, 2010

Understanding Commuters at $6 a Gallon

Workenomics, Licking County's unique marriage of workforce development and economic development, was established in 2004 to prepare Licking County to compete for business capital investment at a time when competition for labor was fierce.  Despite present economic times, those days are still expected to come as the Baby Boomer generation ages and more and more opt for retirement.

Couple retirements with high gas prices.  Some economists are predicting at or near double-digit inflation in coming years with fuel prices leading the way.

Should the perfect storm of labor-in-demand and high gas prices hit, it will be important to understand what commuters from Licking County will do. 

The last numbers I saw showed 42% of Licking County's workforce commutes outside of the county for employment.  That's a potential source to fill open jobs.

Workenomics needs to understand what these commuters might do so it can, predictably, inform our existing and prospective new employers what to expect.

If the unemployment rate is down and jobs are going unfilled again, what would a commuter do facing $5 or $6 a gallon gas prices and more employment choices? 

Will more commuters move their home to their job or their job to their home?

Ultimately, that's the question.

What would you do?

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