An Analysis of the Tulsa Area Labor Force

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1 An Analysis of the Tulsa Area Labor Force Summary Report for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and Oklahoma Department of Commerce David A. Penn, Robert C. Dauffenbach and John G. McCraw Center for Economic and Management Research Michael F. Price College of Business The University of Oklahoma May 1999

2 An Analysis of the Tulsa Area Labor Force Sponsored by the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, this study examines the availability of labor in the Tulsa area. Data were collected by telephone from randomly selected adults between February and April The results presented in this report are based on 1,200 interviews targeted to residents of Tulsa and Rogers Counties as well as portions of Creek, Wagoner and Osage Counties. This study demonstrates that a pool of labor exists among workers who are employed but do not fully utilize their education and skills. We call these workers the underemployed. In this study, underemployed workers meet three conditions: 1) they feel they are underutilized in their present employment, 2) they have training or education that is not required by their current job, and 3) they would change jobs in order to better utilize their skills and education. Approximately 14.3 percent of workers in the area fit the underemployed criteria. Many of the underemployed are searching for improved job situations. These workers exhibit a variety of occupations and skills. The results show that the median underemployed worker is willing to commute 20 miles or more for a job that pays 10 percent to 15 percent more than current wages. A smaller pool of labor exists among those who are without work but who want to work. These persons include retirees who wish to return to work for a variety of reasons. In general, those who want to work are less skilled and have less education than does the average worker in the area. The next section provides comparative survey details regarding the underemployed of the Tulsa area. 2

3 Highlights Regarding the Underemployed Approximately 45,842 persons in the target area are looking for work that better utilizes their skills and education. In addition, there are 25,885 persons who are currently not working but want to work. Estimated Persons Who Are Working Estimated Persons Who Are Not Working 45,842 25, , ,921 Underemployed Rest of Employed Want to Work Don't desire w ork A slightly smaller percentage of underemployed workers have four-year degrees than do other workers. Persons who are not working and want to work are less likely to have a post secondary degree % % % % 1 5.0% High school or less Some college Associate degree At least a bachelor's degree Underemployed Rest of Employed Want to Work 3

4 Underemployed workers tend to be younger while persons without a job but who want to work tend to be older. 45.0% % % % 1 5.0% Less than to to or more Underemployed Rest of Employed Want to Work A small majority of the underemployed are male. Those who are without work but want to work are mostly female Underemployed Rest of Employed Want to Work Female Male 4

5 An employment opportunity that pays from $8 per hour to $10 per hour is viewed as desirable by 41.2 percent of the underemployed and by 21.7 percent of the rest of the employed. Fifty-four percent of persons who are without work but want to work view such a job as desirable Underemployed Rest of Employed Want to Work Desirable Undesirable An estimated 92,681 persons living in the Tulsa area are interested in a job that pays from $8 hour to $10 hour. Number of Persons Willing to Work for $8-$10 per Hour 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10, ,902 18,899 13,880 Underemployed Rest of Employed Want to Work 5

6 The underemployed work in a variety of occupations and skills, from executives and other professionals to craftsmen and clerks: Estimated Workers Percent Executive, Administrative, and Managerial 6, Professional Specialty 5, Technicians and Related Support 3, Sales 5, Administrative Support, Including Clerical 5, Service Occupations 8, Farming, Forestry, and Fishing Precision Production, Craft, and Repair 5, Machine Operators, Assemblers, and Inspectors 3, Transportation and Material Moving 2, Most of the underemployed have skills they are presently not utilizing. These skills include Other Trades Precision Production & Repair Computer Skills Clerical Skills Sales Manufacturing and Warehousing Construction Trades Other Professional Management and Accounting 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 6

7 The typical (median) underemployed worker earns between $20,000 and $30,000 a year and would change jobs for a pay increase of between 10 percent and 15 percent. 14,000 12,000 11,195 11,448 10,000 Workers 8,000 6,000 6,245 6,062 4,000 2,620 2,000 1, $10,000 $10,000 - $20,000 $20,000 - $30,000 $30,000 - $40,000 $40,000 - $50,000 $50,000 - $75, $75,000 - $100,000 Over $100,000 Approximately 42 percent of underemployed workers are willing to commute at least 21 miles to work 25.0% % 1 5.0% 0-5 miles 6-10 miles miles miles miles More than 50 miles 7

8 Job Training and Participation in Apprenticeship Programs Workers were asked a series of questions regarding their willingness to undertake job training and their participation in and attitudes towards apprenticeship programs. About 88 percent of workers responded they would be willing to undertake job training associated with a new employment opportunity. Perecentage of Workers Willing to Undertake Job Training No Yes Don't Know Approximately 2 percent of the workers in the study area indicated that they are currently enrolled in or have recently completed an apprenticeship program. Of these workers, almost 83 percent indicated that the program was very useful or somewhat useful while about 17 percent responded that the program was not useful at all. Usefulness of Aprenticeship Programs Very Useful Somewhat Useful Not at all Useful 8

9 Contrasting Tulsa Residents with the Rest of the Study Area Sixty-two percent of area workers live in Tulsa while 38 percent live outside Tulsa. Lives Outside Tulsa 38% 62% About 25 percent of Tulsa residents have attended some college compared to about 30 percent for those who live outside Tulsa while about 34 percent of residents have at least a bachelor s degree compared to 26 percent for those living outside Tulsa. Level of Education by Place of Residence Postgraduate degree Bachelors degree Associate degree Lives Outside Tulsa Some college High school Less than high school 5.0% % % % 9

10 Workers in both groups are concentrated in private sector jobs. Tulsa residents are more likely to work in self-employed positions than those who live outside Tulsa. 7 Sector of Employment by Place of Residence Lives Outside Tulsa Government Private for profit company Non-profit organization Self-employed Working in family business Median earnings for residents of Tulsa as well as those who do not live in Tulsa is between $30,000 and $40,000. Distribution of Earnings by Place of Residence Over $100,000 75,000 - $100,000 50,000 - $75,000 40,000 - $50,000 30,000 - $40,000 20,000 - $30,000 10,000 - $20, $10, % % % Lives Outside Tulsa 10

11 Those who live outside Tulsa are more willing to commute than are Tulsa residents. Willingness to Commute by Place of Residence Lives Outside Tulsa 11 miles or more 21 miles or more 30 miles or more Workers living in Tulsa are slightly more willing to change jobs than workers living outside Tulsa. Thirty-seven percent of residents would change jobs for a pay increase of 15 percent or less, compared with 32 percent for those who live outside of Tulsa. Also, 16 percent of Tulsa residents and 17 percent of those who live outside of Tulsa are not interested in changing jobs. Percent of Workers Willing to Change Jobs by Percent Pay Increase Needed Less than 5 percent Less than 10 percent Less than 15 percent Less than 20 percent Pay Increase Lives Outside Tulsa 11

12 With some exceptions, the distribution of occupations is similar. Most notably, those who live outside Tulsa are more likely to be in administrative support positions than residents of Tulsa while workers living in Tulsa tend more towards sales and service occupations than those living outside Tulsa. Occupation by Place of Residence Transportation and Material Moving Machine Operators, Assemblers, and Inspectors Precision Production, Craft, and Repair Farming, Forestry, and Fishing Lives Outside Tulsa Service Occupations Administrative Support, Including Clerical Sales Technicians and Related Support Professional Specialty Executive, Administrative, and Managerial Percent 12

13 Both groups Tulsa receive similar levels of benefits with their jobs. Benefits of Full-time Jobs Percent of Workers Paid vacation Health insurance Education and training Retirement plan Current job offers advancement potential Lives Outside Tulsa 13

14 Conclusions Underemployed workers A significant pool of labor exists among workers who are not fully utilizing their education and skills Many underemployed workers are searching for higher-paying jobs The underemployed exhibit a variety of occupations and skills About 42 percent are willing to commute 20 miles or more A smaller pool of labor exists among those not working who desire work. These persons typically are less skilled and not as well educated Place of Residence Workers living in Tulsa are more slightly more willing to change jobs compared with workers living outside Tulsa. Occupational patterns are similar, but workers living outside Tulsa are more concentrated in administrative support occupations while workers living in Tulsa are more concentrated in sales and service occupations Sixty-four percent of workers living in Tulsa and 63 percent of workers who live outside Tulsa are employed in private sector positions Both groups enjoy similar levels of benefits with their full-time jobs 14

15 Appendix: Distribution of the Sample County Interviews Percent Tulsa Rogers Creek (part) Wagoner (part) Osage (part) ,

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