April 13, 2022

Greater Peoria Workforce by the Numbers

april 22, locate here

In Greater Peoria, we have 178,069 people engaged in the workforce. The total workforce is fairly evenly distributed across gender (51.04% female) and age (approx 14% among 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 year olds), with multiple generations in the workforce. The largest block of workers are between 35-44. 

Greater Peoria has better than the “typical Metros MSA share” for availability of strong candidates in the following career clusters, meaning these are the areas in which are workforce is strong: 

  • Medical Science and Health Services due to the OSF College of Nursing and University of IL Med School. 
  • Production (due to the presence of Illinois Central College, trade schools, and strong union apprenticeship programs)
  • Engineering and Architecture (due to the strong Bradley University College of Engineering)

Greater Peoria has a high location quotient of employment in Management of companies and enterprises (2.21), Utilities (1.65), Manufacturing (1.54), Healthcare and Social Assistance (1.31), and Other Services except public administration (1.14). This means that Greater Peoria has a competitive advantage in concentration of workers in these fields when compared to the rest of the nation.

Regional average earnings per job are $68.7K (EMSI) which is 9% lower than the national average earnings of $75.5K per job. This makes Greater Peoria an attractive place to build a company due to lower costs for employee wages. Because the cost of living is significantly lower  than the national average (74.6/100 or 25.4% lower), employees still come out ahead by +16.4%. This means that employees experience the benefits of dollars going further while employers have lower costs for wages: a win for both!

Greater Peoria is also stronger in occupational diversity  than other regions (ranked number 73 out of 384 Metropolitan Statistical Areas). Occupational diversity is the measure of how evenly employment is distributed across the 13 industry sectors in the typical MSA. An occupational diversity score of 81% is an indication of GP’s overall economic resilience, a good thing for employers and employees alike. 

Approx 55% of our population (16+) are currently employed in the workforce.32.2%  of people (over 16 who could be working) are not currently engaged in the labor market, which means there is an available workforce supply to be skilled and available to work (enter or re-enter the workforce). This indicates that there are multiple pipelines from which to source talent in Greater Peoria rather than competing only with other companies for labor in a tight labor market. 

Greater Peoria possesses an impressive collaborative of 58 organizational partners (the Regional Workforce Alliance) across sectors and industries  who are dedicated to increasing the credentialing rate and ensuring that the regional workforce is prepared with the skill sets necessary to thrive in the workplace and add value to their employers developing the emerging workforce, upskilling working adults with sought-after skills and credentials, and reducing barriers to employment experienced by populations within the region. Since its inception in 2018, the Regional Workforce Alliance has increased the postsecondary credential rate by approx 3%

18.5% of the selected regions’ residents possess a Bachelor’s Degree, and 10.5% hold an Associate’s Degree (1.8% above the national average). 

Since the Workforce Equity Initiative began 4 years ago,  over 600 people have credentialed with sought-after skillsets who did not have them previously. 

GPEAK is an essential skills training program that was developed in response to a need heard by the Regional Workforce Alliance. 49 organizations came together to develop a regional badging and credentialing system to validate proficiency and completion of training in essential skills. GPEAK came out of a need to upskill people with the soft skills to thrive in the workforce. Since it was created in Fall 2020 (less than 2 years), 645 people have been awarded badges/credentialed with essential skills.

CareerSpark is a career exploration programs that introduces students (our emerging workforce) networking, available career and industry clusters, career mapping, cost of education and expected salaries, job hunting, and job skills they will need to succeed. Since these students represent the region’s emerging workforce (only a few years away from working), it is an important talent development and retention strategy to build a bridge between schools and companies. Since it began in 2017, 22,700 regional students from 71 schools and 9 counties have participated in  career exploration and networking program CareerSpark, which has facilitated introductions to jobs and companies in Greater Peoria (17,140 8th graders and 5591 high schoolers).  53 companies have participated and built connections with these soon-to-be working adults. 91% of surveyed volunteers (comprising mainly of employers) feel the program increases student understanding of skills and abilities they need to reach their career goals. Students from each segment saw value in the CareerSpark/JA Inspire program for making future decisions, but it has continued to make the biggest impact on individuals from low-to-moderate income households. 51% of total surveyed students (and a higher percentage of students from LMI households, 58% respectively) indicated that they are considering new career fields after completing the program and realized the importance of staying in school.

Greater Peoria Workforce Demographics